Mon Jul 12 07:43am EDT
Oh, those summer nights...
• One down. Six to go? Tennessee wasted no time Friday in booting defensive back Darren Myles, one of two Vols charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in the wake of an early-morning melee that sent a patron and an off-duty cop to the hospital and may have the NCAA breathing down UT's neck. Two other sophomores, linebacker Greg King and defensive tackle Marlon Walls, were suspended indefinitely, though neither has been charged with a crime.
Myles got the worst of it thanks to a similar arrest for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in April, which is still winding its way through the courts. But the police report from Friday's fracas may have done him in by itself: After the violence in the bar, Myles allegedly tried to hide under a car and in bushes, then elbowed an officer in the face as he was being arrested. The other player charged following the brawl, hyped incoming receiver Da'Rick Rogers, hasn't faced any discipline from the program, likely indicating his role was more ambiguous.
Note that no charges have been filed in the brawl itself, which reportedly included a seven-on-one assault against a 20-year-old customer (who may have instigated the fight) and a serious beating of the off-duty officer, who was taken to the emergency room and remained hospitalized Saturday with a head injury. Between the officer's status, the ongoing investigation and the possible NCAA violations, this is a fight with some legs.
• But have you ever been Mel Kiper Jr's top-ranked senior linebacker ... on weed? North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant, a first-team All-ACC pick in 2009 and a leading All-American candidate this year, was charged with misdemeanor pot possession during a Saturday morning traffic stop. Officers found less than a half an ounce, which probably won't freak out potential NFL employers next spring. As for the Tar Heels' season-opening date with LSU, though, his status is in the air.
• Oh, Georgia. The margin of error for the seemingly endless stream of alcohol-related offenses at Georgia is even slimmer after the rapid fall of athletic Damon Evans earlier this month, and Dontavius Jackson and Tavarres King are the first to feel the brunt of the crackdown. Jackson, a backup running back, has been suspended for at least six games, one for each charge he obtained (driving under the influence of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, following too closely, leaving the scene of an accident, violation of the move-over law and violation of learner's permit) during a DUI arrest early Saturday morning. (Why a 20-year-old college junior was driving on a learner's permit is the mystery.) King, 19, will miss at least the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette for getting dinged with underage possession, per athletic department policy.
It could be worse: Like Evans, quarterback Zach Mettenberger and linebacker Montez Robinson were both given their walking papers following alcohol-related offenses in the spring, though in their cases the drankin' rap was exacerbated by charges of sexual assault and domestic violence, respectively.
• What we have here is a failure to communicate. Three Southern Miss starters, including star receiver DeAndre Brown, were arrested Thursday night for failing to comply with the instructions of an officer breaking up a large pool party. Brown, fellow receiver Johdrick Morris and linebacker Martez Smith were charged with misdemeanors and could face a fine.
Normally, it would be easy enough to shrug off a piddling disorderly conduct charge. (Given the reputation of Hattiesburg police during my days at USM, "failure to follow the officer's orders" could mean almost anything short of immediate, lockstep obedience.) But this close to the start of the season, coach Larry Fedora will have to get creative to avoid suspending three starters – especially his one true standout talent – for the Thursday-night opener at South Carolina.
• And rounding out the docket, Iowa defensive lineman Broderick Binns was nabbed by campus police Friday morning for allegedly driving drunk just two weeks ahead of his 21st birthday. (Not that he could have waited to drive drunk or anything.) Counseling, an educational program and "some form of suspension" are in Binns' immediate future, according to coach Kirk Ferentz.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.