This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve seen a while.
Three University of Tennessee football players, including much-heralded freshmen Nu’Keese Richardson and Janzen Jackson, were arrested this morning and charged with armed robbery. (Thanks for SEC Rivals for the tip.)
I don’t have confirmation on this yet, but charges of extreme idiocy and operating a human body without a brain could also be forthcoming.
The story is still developing, but here are some of the details of the robbery itself, courtesy of VolunteerTV.com:
Reports from the scene indicate two black men approached the victim in the parking lot and used a small semi-automatic handgun to hold him up. They then fled south on Volunteer Boulevard in a powder blue-colored sedan. At least one of the suspects was described as wearing a black University of Tennessee T-shirt.
According to this message board thread at VolNation.com, each player made off with about $50.
Initially, VolunteerTV.com refused to list the names of the suspects. However, very early this morning a member of the Vols’ SID department did confirm that Richardson, Jackson, and fellow freshman Mike Edwards had been arrested for armed robbery.
Armed freaking robbery.
These three are lucky that being stupid isn’t a felony or they would have been charged with that too.
I don’t want to get too much into this because the guys are “innocent until proven guilty” and I have no idea about their family/life situation, but — at least the way it is being reported — this just seems so senseless and idiotic I can barely find words to describe it. I don’t now much about Edwards, but Richardson and Jackson are both players with tons of talent who were looked at as future stars and potential NFL prospects.
Now, if these charges end up sticking, they will most likely be booted from UT and forced to work their way back through junior college or Division 1-AA channels.
Armed robbery? I mean, underage drinking I could see…everyone does that in college. Maybe even swiping a video game system from someone’s dorm room; I’m not advocating it by any means, but we’ve all heard stories of it happening and is something that dumb college kids sometimes do.
But armed robbery? That’s pretty serious and hints at deeper problems than just simple immaturity.
All three of these guys have some serious ‘splainin’ to do. And we’ll get see what kind of a tone Lane Kiffin is going to set for his program with how he responds.
Update: The players involved in this story are actually dumber than I thought.
Via The Tennessee Journalist’s report on the players being arrested for armed robbery:
Jackson served a one-game suspension for disciplinary reasons in Tennessee 56-28 win over Memphis on Saturday.
Richardson missed Sunday practice leading up to the win over Memphis as he dealt with what was reported to be “personal issues”.
Head coach Lane Kiffin later said Richardson had “no situation”.
Pilot is owned by Jim Haslam, a former UT football player and major financial contributor to both the school and UT athletics.
Way to go fellas. Commit a crime, in the wake of having other issues, at a place of business owned by an alum of your school and team, someone who now doubt has some serious back-channel clout.
I’m speechless. But not because I’m terribly surprised by this, just because this was such a dumb thing to do it’s not worth wasting any more time or words over.
Lane, just remember, no matter how big things get…you can always go home.
* – Lane Kiffin photo credit: Bootlegger Sports