Some of you may remember the national beating Urban Meyer took during his tenure as Gator Head Coach when some lazy sportswriters clubbed him for running an out-of-control program full of thugs. It was an absolutely ridiculous assertion then and demonstrated a remarkable lack of insight into young males and the problems young alpha males get into with regularity.
Having been a Soldier, and to this day maintaining a great appreciation for Soldiers, I well remember the ease with which some young guys find their way to trouble. That kind of stuff is inevitable in any genuine collection of 85-120 young, athletic males. That's what the Urban Meyer transgressions were all about. None of the transgressions under Urban indicated any kind of problem within the program. They indicated you had young alpha males doing young and dumb stuff. That's mostly what you saw under Urban, and it wasn't swept under the rug by the Gainesville Police Department. That's what all those arrests proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
This felonious stuff going on at FSU, however, and the brazen coordination between TPD and FSUPD, is entirely different. Here's the latest:
In the early morning hours of Oct. 5, as this college town was celebrating another big football victory by Florida State University, a starting cornerback on the team drove his car into the path of an oncoming vehicle driven by a teenager returning home from a job at the Olive Garden.
Both cars were totaled. But rather than remain at the scene as the law requires, the football player, P. J. Williams, left his wrecked vehicle in the street and fled into the darkness along with his two passengers, including Ronald Darby, the team’s other starting cornerback.
The Tallahassee police responded to the off-campus accident, eventually reaching out to the Florida State University police and the university’s athletic department.
By the next day, it was as if the hit and run had never happened.
The New York Times looked into how the police handled the case, reviewing law enforcement records and interviewing witnesses, lawyers, the police and a university representative. The examination found that Mr. Williams, driving with a suspended license, had been given a break by the Tallahassee police, who initially labeled the accident a hit and run, a criminal act, but later decided to issue Mr. Williams only two traffic tickets. Afterward, the case did not show up in the city’s public online database of police calls — a technical error, the police said.
That's their two starting cornerbacks, ladies and gentlemen, and it was just a couple of weeks before their big Notre Dame game. No news, no discipline. Hmmmmmm. I'm not sure that passes the smell test.
And that response by John Thrasher, the sitting President of the University, is nothing short of embarrassing for an institution telling anyone who will listen that they desire admission into the Association of American Universities. At this rate, that will never happen. I wonder if FSU officials have taken note that the AAU just announced they have contracted with a firm to design and construct a national sexual assault survey to be conducted at American universities? Florida State University, no doubt, will factor into that study in unflattering ways.
But President Thrasher's response says to me that FSU officials are rightfully spooked, and especially spooked that there might be some incriminating trail that leads not just to Seminole athletics but to FSU's central administration. Which would also implicate, perhaps, Eric Barron at Penn State.
Everything the Noles do is a signal to the New York Times to remain steady on this case. It's also a signal to me that there are disgruntled parties within FSU that are disgusted with the goings-on and, because of hard work by the Times investigative reporters developing local sources, feeding the New York Times the necessary information related to questionable activities. TPD and FSU clearly tried to bury this incident, they coordinated things so as to make it damn-near invisible . . . yet the New York Times found it.
Floridians should understand that the New York Times has placed their "A" team on this investigative story. Okay? These aren't sportswriters. That says they don't think this is an interesting story, they don't simply think it's a good story. At minimum, they think this is a great story that might be worthy of a Pulitzer. Bogdanich already has one from his work with the Wall Street Journal and one from his work at the Times. McIntire was nominated for one previously and probably sees this as the story that will bring home the prize.
. . . Before joining The Times in 2001, he was an investigative producer for 60 Minutes on CBS . . .
John Thrasher might want to stop with the silly press releases that endear him (primarily) to football-first Noles.
These national reporters based out of New York mix and mingle a bunch. It isn't outside the realm of probabilities that 60 Minutes, when the season is done, will join the party and do a segment on this foolishness. It is a story ready-made for investigative journalism on television. Think about that dumb-ass press conference with Willie Meggs and Al Lawson laughing it up after announcing that no charges would be brought in a rape allegation case that was clearly sabotaged by TPD.
You practically can't pay for that kind of authentic stupidity and 60 Minutes can chop it up and make it look even crazier.
The Noles are in deep, deep trouble and would be smart to give up the ghost right damn now. But get ready for the crazy conspiracy Noles who see evil Gators behind every tree. Elijah Stiers, the attorney quoted in the story who said the basic facts clearly indicate that criminal charges were warranted *and* that a sobriety test should have been given? What about him, you ask? Yep, he's a Jacksonville kid, and a Gator grad -- undergraduate and law. That's really going to get the Noles all stirred up.