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Hearings Set For Two Of Four Arrested Bama Football Players

gavel-scalesLast Monday, four Alabama football players were arrested on charges varying from second-degree robbery to fraudulent use of a stolen credit card.  Today, two of those players had a joint preliminary hearing scheduled.

Eddie Williams is accused of robbing two University of Alabama students.  Both students were reportedly beaten to the point of unconsciousness.  Williams and teammate Brent Calloway are accused of using one of the assaulted student’s ID card to buy items from a vending machine inside a UA dorm.  The hearing for Williams and Calloway has been set for March 19th in Tuscaloosa.

There is no word yet on hearings for two other players — DJ Pettway and Tyler Hayes — accused of taking part in one robbery/beating and being present for the other.

Williams confessed to police that he committed both robberies.  Hayes admitted to taking part in the first and watching the second from a nearby vehicle, along with Pettway.

All four players were indefinitely suspended when the arrests came to light last Monday and on Friday, the three players accused in the beatings/robberies were banned from campus pending a University review.

We wrote last week that it was the position of MrSEC.com that the two players who had admitted to police their roles in the violent crimes should be dismissed from Alabama’s team.  It’s apparent now that Nick Saban does not intend to go down that road and will instead let the school dismiss the players after its review.

Many Crimson Tide fans have written us to say that coaches cannot dismiss players without due process, but that’s a ridiculous suggestion.  Certainly nothing of the sort stopped then-Auburn coach Gene Chizik from immediately dismissing four Auburn football players on the very day of their arrests for robbery in March of 2011.

But, we’re talking about sports fans and fans defend their schools, coaches, and players.  If Jeffrey Dahmer had been a four-star prospect on an SEC team there would have plenty of folks in that school’s fanbase ready to claim the poor chap was dealing with an eating disorder.

 


15 comments
Tusk
Tusk

This has gone on long enough.  I'll gather up the pitchforks and torches and you round up the mob.  Meet me at Ferguson Center in half an hour.

MatthewConway1
MatthewConway1

I am the one of the biggest Bama fans ever, and I am in complete agreement with the actions taken by the university. What they did goes beyond the realm of sports. It was a serious crime. they beat some senseless and stole their belongings. What should they have done. Keep them on the team and allow them the privileges as the other players, similar to what happens when a government official or teacher is arrested, convicted and still gets paid before they are officially terminated. 

OBXnoworries
OBXnoworries

 Well John, I will tell you this.  It never hurts, and should be mandatory, to conduct due diligence before you take action in a matter this serious.  You have absolutely nothing to lose.  To allow people to be tried in the court of public opinion (i.e., by a lynch mob) is always wrong.  Saban is way too systematic to do that.  That's how you get situations like Duke lacrosse.  Not equating the cases, but that's what happens when the lynch mob takes over.  In the final analysis it's better to say I've carefully weighed the evidence and I'm taking appropriate action, as opposed to saying: Look how fast I can fire people!  I'm new to this venue, but that's my 2 cents.

 

 

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

Seems to me what is missing is the most obvious. There are at least three things that have to be considered before criticizing Saban.

 

1. The University of Alabama has lawyers, a murder, a bevy, a herd, a school, a swarm, a flock, or what ever descriptor of the number you want to use. The minute this happened, the University lawyers were advising the coaches, the AD, the Pres, the board, etc. If their attorneys are any good, they will have advised on a time line for when this starts to get ugly if you do nothing, or what your liabilities are if you do it fast and get it wrong. They get back to you pretty quickly, but there are different ramifications for down stream law suits. For example, Duke University was HAMMERED, and justifiably so, for millions and millions of dollars in the lacrosse debacle. Duke, if you will remember, took their action under the umbrella of a prosecutor who made it clear he had an iron clad case against a bunch of rapists who were students at Duke. Duke went Roman on those players and Duke paid for their stupidity. I suspect Bama has no intention of making that mistake. There are several mine fields to walk through here, the season and practice has not started, so my guess is the lawyers and the admin are charting a course that has some advice on how fast or slow they can go. 

 

2. The answer to the question, "What are our liabilities if we leave them on the team?", also has to be answered. Straight forward, and will have produced the opinion, "bounce them off," but this examination will be measured against the issues above. In other words, Saban and the administration probably cannot wait to get those guys gone, but they have looked at the time frame they have to get this right, and have decided on how to do it when the last of the hurdles are cleared. And that will be measured against the possibility of downstream law suits against the University.

 

3. Then you get to the question of, "Who does this?" Saban is not operating in a vacuum here. After Penn State, no administration in their right minds lets a coach to go it alone when faced with potential felons in their midst, on campus. My guess is although Auburn and Bama are in the same state, the respective schools lawyers will not have given exactly the same advice, because this is a bit more serious, but with the Duke experience no way Saban is calling the shots alone on this one. Two years ago, maybe. But Duke and Penn State have changed the name of the game for universities when dealing with anyone who might have committed a felony.

 

Could be everybody in the athletic department at Alabama is clueless, but my guess is they are taking this very seriously.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

John,

 

I don't read your emails so I don't know what you see on a daily basis.  With that said, I do read this site daily and I haven't heard a single Bama fan defending the players.  What I've read and what I've said personally is that it's reasonable to hold off on booting them until "due diligence" is done.  They're serious crimes and if there is anything going on behind the scenes that makes the matter gray then it would be a mistake by the University to boot the players immediately and open themselves up to a lawsuit.  I really don't see how that is akin to letting the matter float in the wind which is what you seem to imply.

 

I get that some reading the site don't understand the proper context of "due process," but that still doesn't equate to defending the players.  Everyone I've read here is for booting them including me.  I've heard nothing that gives me the impression that all 4 are anything but guilty.  With that said there is still the possibility of the prospect of dismissing them being something other than an open and shut case.  You ask why the delay?  Fair question, but unless you know more details than we do why is it hard to imagine there is something behind the scenes causing a delay that UA is not willing to divulge at this time?  

 

Now obviously the players have been indefinitely suspended and 3 of them barred from campus which doesn't indicate that UA takes the matter lightly.  It's not as if Saban has never kicked a player off his team before, but there seems to be the assumption that that won't happen simply because it hasn't happened yet.  Would you feel differently if UA or Saban had not responded at all to the situation?  And call me biased if you wish, maybe I am, but I don't get the criticism for UA and Saban only a week after this all went down.  I would feel the same on that regardless of the school.  It is too early to imply that justice isn't going to be done. 

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

Armed Home Invasion. Ask any DA where that stacks up in the list of crimes they prosecute, compared to assault.

 

My only problem with your Chizik comparison is that it makes the crimes in question equivalent, which they are not. Not even close. Both reprehensible, but still not close. Chizik tolerated a lot of nonsense in his program. The 4 he dismissed immediately do not wash away the ones he didn't.

 

The players have been suspended indefinitely. 3 of them are barred from campus. What's your rush?

 

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @OBXnoworries 

 

The Duke lacrosse case keeps coming up.  But there's a key difference between this case and that case -- two of these players confessed to the crimes.  Unless the players were waterboarded, confessions would mean something in my book.

 

Just my take.  

 

Many thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @BonzaiB 

 

Again, this doesn't compare to the Duke lacrosse case as two of these players confessed to the crimes.  

 

Second, this is hardly a major admonishment/criticism of Nick Saban.  In this instance, I think he and/or Alabama administrators should have acted quickly with the two players who've already admitted their guilt to police.  

 

Thanks, as always, for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @AllTideUp 

 

I wasn't trying to suggest that all Alabama fans are defending the players.  But I'll guarantee you that the majority of Tide fans who've emailed us or posted comments calling for due process would be ripping the living heck out of -- let's say -- Auburn if it were Tiger brass that were being so thorough.

 

Also, I don't see this as a very damning criticism of Saban or UA.  I simply think they should have acted sooner with regards to the two players who confessed to the crimes.  This isn't the first time I've taken that stance with regards to a violent crime.  Most schools act quicker, but not all.  

 

Now, last week a number of Alabama fans posted on this site and emailed us to say that they, too, would be upset if those players weren't gone by the end of the week.  But to date I've seen/heard/read of no such upset fans.  The mood seems to have changed from "patience, Saban won't stand for this" to "we need due process."  I only wonder what will be said if these players somehow find their way back onto the team.  

 

Finally, just to be clear, I don't believe Alabama fans in this case are behaving any differently than other fanbases.  This site's been up and running for five years and I can tell you that without exception, when a crime is committed by a player from School X, the majority of School X's fans that we hear from either a) call for due process or b) downplay the incident.  Kudos to Bama fans as not one person has downplayed the seriousness of these offenses.

 

I respect your opinion and your take.  I just have a different view.

 

Thanks, as always, for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @DaveinExile 

 

I don't think it is a rush for a football coach or a university administration to part ways with two thugs who confessed to police that they severely beat and then robbed two of their fellow students.

 

A better question might be, why the reason for the delay?  If UA isn't somehow holding out hope of keeping these guys around, why not just boot the two who confessed and send a message that such acts will not be tolerated?

 

Drawing a line between home invasion and on-campus beatings seems a bit silly to me.  Violent crime is violent crime.  I write for this site.  It is my belief that once guilt is determined or a confession is given regarding a violent crime, a school should act swiftly.  I'm all for second chances and due process in life and in the courtroom.  But if a player commits a violent crime at my school and I'm the coach or AD or president, he's gone.  Immediately.  That's my take.  And that's one of things I supply at this site -- my take.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @John at MrSEC Sorry, but the way you formed the argument in your post, it certainly does sound like there is a criticism of Saban. By bringing in Chizek's actions at Auburn and implying that is what Alabama could / should have done, you linked players being charged with robbery to dismissal to the coach making the decision as the preferred option. And, two out of four admissions is not 4 out or 4, the legal issues for Alabama are not finished And did not say this was AS serious as the Duke case, the point being that after Duke, schools are going to be more cautious when dealing with lending the perception they are rushing to judgement. It is the rush to judgement that is the liability here, not the seriousness of the player offense.

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

 @John at MrSEC And you provide a comments section, which I assume means that you welcome other people's take on your take. Maybe "drawing a line" seems silly to you, but it doesn't to the legal system, which views the two crimes in two very different lights for some very good reasons. Beating up a stranger on the street and taking his wallet will get you sent to jail. Breaking into his home with a gun will get you sent to jail for much, much longer.

 

The kids have been removed from the team (suspended) and removed from campus (barred).  The only thing that hasn't been accomplished yet is a public announcement of permanency. Whose interest does such an announcement serve? No one's, except perhaps a coach in a rush to prove he's a law-and-order guy, or a few on-lookers who can't wait for people making decisions affecting the futures of 4 young men to dot their Is and cross their Ts.

 

Again - why the rush? What is lost/gained by rushing things? By my calculation, rushing gains nothing but PR points, while something important could be missed.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @BonzaiB 

 

It is a criticism.  That is obvious.  It is not -- as I wrote -- a "major" criticism.  That, in my mind would be -- fire this guy, this guy needs to be suspended, this coach has embarrassed his school, etc.  But I've made it clear that the UA administration should have taken action, too.  In.  My.  Opinion.

 

"And, two out of four admissions is not 4 out or 4, the legal issues for Alabama are not finished."

 

That's why I've been very careful to write in each story and in each response to a commenter that I would dismiss the TWO players who had confessed.  Two, not four.

 

I tried to be nice and respond.  Every couple of months I forget that that doesn't get me anywhere.

 

No more responses from me for a while.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

 @John at MrSEC So, we just disagree on the meaning of the word "rush." I guess Plato was right.

 

I'm betting all 4 players are gone. They just want to make one announcement instead of two or three, which just multiplies the potential negative PR. Again -- all of Alabama's long-term interests are served by letting this thing run through the internal Alabama system. No one's interests are being neglected. Still not sure where basis for your complaint rests, but I understand your agitation.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @DaveinExile 

 

Yes.  Your take is welcome.  But if someone asks me a question, I'll try to answer it.  And you ended your post with "What's your rush?"  I simply answered you.

 

Thanks again for reading the site,

John

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