Category Archives: Crime and Punishment

It’s a legal matter, baby.

I didn’t blog about the Isaiah McKenzie story yesterday because I was swamped at work, but also because of this:

According to an Athens-Clarke County police incident report, McKenzie is accused of “making terroristic threats” to a female complainant at the Chili’s restaurant on Alps Road at 10:28 p.m. Monday night. A woman named Maya Labat claims McKenzie told her “he was going to call some friends and they were going to come out and he was going to kill her,” according to the report.

However, officers interviewed witnesses at the scene, saw no reason to arrest McKenzie and no charges were filed.

I mean, damn, if the A-CC PoPos can’t be moved to arrest a Georgia football player, how big a deal could it be?


Filed under Crime and Punishment

“I’m not sorry for giving him an opportunity. I’m sorry for the way things worked out.”

The sausage making that went into Nick Saban’s decision – and let’s not get too cute here, it was Saban’s decision – to admit Jonathan Taylor to Alabama after his dismissal at Georgia ain’t pretty.

Taylor’s path to the University of Alabama and Nick Saban’s team is well-known: Saban recruited him and put him on the team but dismissed him after another domestic violence police report was made. Under national media scrutiny for signing Taylor in the first place, Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said officials had “thoroughly investigated numerous sources regarding the young man” in addition to talking with Taylor before he enrolled.

Outside the Lines has learned that McGarity was among those Battle had spoken with — in a phone call in which McGarity confirmed details found in the police report. The call occurred just four days after Georgia had taken extraordinary measures to inform Alabama about the case, Outside the Lines has learned. Georgia officials sent photos of the woman’s injuries to University of Alabama police nearly three weeks before Taylor enrolled and also sent copies of two police incident reports involving Taylor. One report contained information not available to the public — contact information for the alleged domestic violence victim and the person who reported the incident to police. Alabama did not reach out to either person, a source told Outside the Lines, nor did it ever reach out to the district attorney presiding over the case.

The photographs sent to Alabama campus police have not been made public because they are part of Taylor’s pending court case. Outside the Lines did not review them, and Georgia officials say that deputy athletic director Williams is the only non-law enforcement official at the school who has seen them.

They were, however, “shared with [Alabama campus police] in order for all involved at the decision-making level to see the severity of the injuries involved, and for the nature of the incident to be understood in the hopes of preventing other students from being victimized,” Georgia spokesman Bob Taylor told Outside the Lines.

An Alabama spokesman on Friday said neither Saban nor Battle ever saw the photos.

That’s what you call willful ignorance.

Two things here… one, McGarity spoke on the record about how serious Taylor’s assault was.  (“The police report was very descriptive, there probably wasn’t much of a question that what happened, did happen.”)  I don’t know if that was done out of a sense of propriety or to make sure everyone knows that Georgia wasn’t guilty of its own cover up of Taylor’s transgression here, but it’s worth noting in either case.

Second, it sounds like anyone who was skeptical of Taylor’s girlfriend’s retraction of the charges she filed against him in Tuscaloosa was right to feel that way.

Three days after Taylor’s arrest, however, the girlfriend recanted her story and told police her wounds were self-inflicted. She was arrested on a charge of filing a false police report but, according to court records, on July 7, Taylor pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief as a result of the incident, and her charge was dismissed the same day.

Lt. Kip Hart, assistant commander of the Tuscaloosa Homicide Unit, told Outside the Lines that the woman’s charge was dismissed because she later came back to police and told them her original report was true. “There was evidence to believe the initial story was accurate” Hart said. Court records confirm she ended up cooperating in the case against Taylor, and that’s why the prosecution of Taylor moved forward.

There is something unsettling about all of this.  Perhaps mostly because it’s hard to understanding why Saban’s judgment appears so clouded in pursuing Taylor.  This being Alabama, nothing further will come of it, but it’s interesting to compare what’s happened at Baylor in the wake of the Ukwuachu conviction.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Nick Saban Rules

Thursday morning buffet

I got ‘yer buffet right here.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, The Evil Genius, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Baby did a bad, bad thing.

The Sam Ukwuachu affair just gets curiouser and curiouser.  Art Briles has strongly suggested that Chris Peterson and Boise State did not offer him or anyone else at Baylor details about Ukwuachu’s checkered past.  Yet, according to’s Evans and Thamel, somebody else sure got word about it.

Florida considered taking Ukwuachu in May 2013, but then-Gators coach Will Muschamp decided against it after a Boise State athletic department employee detailed Ukwuachu’s troubles with a girlfriend, according to two former Florida athletic department employees.

That included the former freshman All-America defensive end’s alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend and an allegation that Ukwuachu put his fist through a window while drunk at the couple’s home, one of the ex-staffers said. (Ukwuachu was not charged in either incident.)

“There was no way,” one of the former Florida employees told The Inside Read of Ukwuachu. “[Muschamp] wouldn’t touch him.”

… “Just a bad situation,” one of the former Florida staffers said. “It just wasn’t good.”

Ukwuachu also wasn’t completely forthcoming with Florida about his relationship with his former girlfriend, the former Gators athletic department employee said. But the Boise State athletic department employee was clear about Ukwuachu’s issues, according to the former Florida staffer.

Said the ex-Florida official: “There was absolutely no doubt.”

First of all, good on Boom and Florida to walk away after due diligence.

Second, it sounds like Ken Starr needs to add somebody to Baylor’s witness list.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment

Before you get too smug, SEC…

With regard to all the back patting that the SEC did in the wake of passing its no transfer “Jonathan Taylor” rule, it’s worth considering what Dan Wolken wrote in response to the Sam Ukwuachu debacle unfolding at Baylor:

And yet, given what we know, it isn’t clear-cut that even the SEC’s new transfer rule would have prevented one of their schools from accepting Ukwuachu. Again, no police report, no formal university discipline.

Rules or no rules, in the end, it boils down to coaches, or the athletic directors those coaches allegedly answer to, having enough of a moral compass to look past the short-term goal of winning.  Especially the latter, who often seem to lack the balls to deal with the pressure coming from successful coaches.

The problem, though, is that too many schools have yielded too much power over those decisions to coaches who risk nothing by taking the player (“Hey, if he screws up, we can just dismiss him”) and have very little incentive to say no.

As long as there’s an envelope to push, there’s always a head coach out there willing to take that chance.


Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment

He said, he said.

My first reaction to the whole Art Briles – Chris Peterson dust up about what the former was told about Sam Ukwuachu in the process of Baylor deciding to admit him was the Briles had made a mistake dragging Peterson into the mess.  But the more I think about it, the more I think it may be a rather clever attempt at deflection.  Instead of focusing on what happened once Ukwuachu arrived in Waco, everyone is parsing the words of the two coaches.

Even so, when you get down to what everyone knew, it’s still not so great for Baylor as this Texas Monthly follow up summarizes in its conclusion:

While we don’t know exactly what was said between Briles and Petersen, there is evidence that Petersen knew the extent of Ukwuachu’s actions in May 2013 and that he took it seriously enough at the time to immediately dismiss Ukwuachu from the team. We also know that the discipline enforced by Petersen wasn’t a question asked by Baylor on the form distributed to media on Friday evening. There are a number of questions remaining, but the nature of Sam Ukwuachu’s final days at Boise State—and who knew the details—is not among them.

In other words, Peterson may have chosen his words carefully, while Briles and Baylor were equally careful in choosing not to read between the lines.  I expect there’s more to come on that front, and it probably won’t be pretty.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment

When the Georgia Way meets the Process

Is there a Second Chance U for football support staff members?


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football