Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quick Take On Recent Football Stupidity

It's now official, Beckford has been rightfully suspended for the bowl game...and in his wake, Gerald Gooden and Will Lucas thought it'd be a good time for them to introduce themselves to the police.

On Monday night after accruing a bunch of parking tickets, Lucas and Gooden removed the boot from Gooden's (I believe) and took back the property.  The problem is, once a vehicle is booted, I believe the police regard that car as theirs until the fines are paid...but if you get that far, usually the tickets and fees are a few hundred bucks.

After taking their car back, the two were arrested for theft.  Sweet.
Gooden (2) & Lucas (45)

If you're keeping count, Purdue has two starters already suspended and another with a blown ACL.  So now, Gooden, Lucas and Hope await Purdue's ruling on the matter (it was university police, not West Lafayette).  My thought is pretty simple- these guys deserve to be suspended for the bowl game.

If they are, either by Purdue or by Hope, Gooden will have played his last game at Purdue and the team will lose its second LB this week.

Perhaps the three seasons in which the team didn't go to a bowl game kept Purdue's players from getting themselves into trouble. In both Beckford's and the Gooden/Lucas cases, the players probably would have been at home had they not been forced to stay on campus. In a roundabout way, they're getting what they want, right? Many players complained about the bowl draw via I'd give these guys their wish and send them home.

There's a pretty good debate raging on GBI and Twitter about the most-recent arrests and how egregious they are. Some are calling the guys thugs; I don't agree with that assessment...but they're definitely two guys who made some silly decisions (not paying parking tickets) followed by a really stupid one (taking the car back without paying the fines).  Like Mom always said, you can pay now or pay later, but you're going to pay.  As is the case in most crimes, this one would/could only end with the police getting involved as the proof is extremely simple to gather.

The second part of this issue that tweaks me a bit is if a normal student were to do this, what trouble would he be in? I don't think he'd get off by merely paying the parking tickets and boot fine; so these guys should be no different.

I think most of the Purdue football players are pretty decent people...I've met enough of them to make my own opinion about it. Purdue's football program struggled all season to get the fans behind them...and incidents like what we've seen in the last week don't help an already beleaguered program's image.  Hope shouldn't wait for the university's ruling, in my opinion, to react to this one...his waiting two days on the Beckford situation was probably too much.

Western Michigan's offense feasted (at times) during the regular season on weak defenses.  I really thought they'd struggle to put up a big number versus Purdue.  Now, since three starting defenders are potentially out, we might have seen the tipping point that I joked about yesterday.

Out for Little Caesar's Bowl
Beckford (LB)- DWI
Ross (WR)- Academics

Bolden- ACL injury

Awaiting Decision
Gooden (DE)- theft
Lucas (LB)- theft


BoilerEngineer24 said...

I don't think they should be suspended for the bowl game for what amounts to one dumb decision. When I was a student at Purdue, I had my car booted in the Northwestern parking garage (I was running late for class and parked in an A spot). As a poor college kid, believe me, I gave some serious thought to either finding some way to remove that boot or just leaving my car there (since it was a piece of junk anyways). But then I read the note on the boot which said that removing the boot will result in a class D felony. Yeah, after reading that, I walked down to the front office and paid the $150 fine. So, it's definitely a very stupid decision on their part. But, do they deserve to lose the chance to play in a game that they've worked hard all year to be a part of? By the letter of the law, they stole something....but really, they just made a stupid decision to pull the boot off rather than pay the ticket. They were probably pissed off that they got booted and in their anger decided to just rip the stupid thing off. Again, absolutely stupid thing to do. But it's a one time decision that really didn't hurt anyone else. So I have a hard time making them miss a bowl game because of it. I admit, I'm probably being way too leniant on this, but that's just my take on it. I'm admittedly sympathetic because I've had my car booted and been pissed off and had those thoughts of " this really the most effective use of law enforcement time?". They'll probably get suspended, I can't really say that's the wrong call...but I just don't consider what they did as true theft.

Headphones_on said...

This is a pretty stupid move by the players, but some of the blame has to be on Hope. 3 players arrested in a week? Is he just letting them run loose all over campus?

jbrunner said...

@Headphones_on: I know how popular it is to blame something going wrong on Hope, but blaming him here is unjustified. These aren't children...they're adults. They can't be supervised 24/7 and can make their own dumb decision. It's up to Hope to ACT, however...which is why a suspension had better be in the cards.

zlionsfan said...

Based on what we know, I would support a suspension for the bowl game.

I don't even like the unpaid parking tickets. Sure, maybe they felt they didn't deserve one or two of them, but you don't fix the situation by pretending it's not there. You either dispute the tickets or pay them. (There is a bit of hypocrisy here: I will confess to receiving a parking ticket in Evanston that I did not pay. Then again, 19-year-old zlionsfan could probably have used a lesson in responsibility himself.)

For suspicion of theft, especially in a case like this (where it's pretty clear what they did, as opposed to a normal case where someone may or may not have stolen someone else's property) ... absolutely. This isn't Michigan State.

Crazed Boiler said...

We are getting close and closer to being a SEC team, we would make Tennessee and Georgia proud with the stupidity of our players lately. It's easy to blame Hope but these kids know better than the stupidity they are doing, espically in the wake of the first arrest. Suspended them all for the bowl game. A message needs to be delivered. Pathetic!

The Accidental Expat said...

Hmmm. Some reports had it that Hope's job status hinged on the bowl game. So if Purdue loses (even if falls to unimaginative play calling and crappy tackling, problems that have been around all year) it could be blamed on these suspended and injured starters, quite possibly giving coach Hope and his staff another year. For Hope's bashers-- and yes, I'm turning into one of them myself, this is probably one of the worst turn of events imaginable -- the guy is now much harder to fire in the AD's eyes.

Anonymous said...

So, they were charged with stealing their own car? That sounds silly to me. Damaging government property sounds closer to the truth; not theft. The government cannot deprive you of your property without due process; ie. a court order. It is not rational thinking to say because a police officer puts a mechanism on a car that the government now owns it. So, I dont fault Gooden and Lucas for thinking it is their car. Because it is. But, they need to pay the tickets. Come on guys. Just ante up and move on with your lives like the rest of us.

ATL_Boilers said...

If I remember correctly, you couldn't receive your grades or next semester schedule if you had outstanding parking tickets... what was he going to do in January when he was no longer registered for classes?

This is a dumb college student mistake (though I've read of adults doing similar) but I think a suspension is still in order. Like BoilerEngineer24 said, the warning for the theft is right on the boot.

Maybe if Hope and Co. would have used the full allotment of practices, the guys would have been too tired to get into this much trouble... just saying. (still the players' responsibility for the bad decision making).

J Money said...

Damaging the boot would be damaging police property, right? So even if we go with the theory that you can't steal your own car, they probably damaged police property. Not good.

boilerbugle said...

How did they get so many parking tickets to begin with? Don't they have special athlete parking passes and special lots?

ATL_Boilers said...

boilerbugle (not sure if that was sarcasm, or not but I'm going to reply as if it wasn't)

This might have changed but when I was there, the lot next to Mackey and the practice facility (not north of the stadium) were all A or B spots for faculty/staff: I found this out trying to park there for a final at the indoor track.

BoilerRick said...

Program is definitely gaining momentum. Now competing with SEC for most arrests - got to be a good sign

Mark said...

I can't believe it's a felony charge of theft!

Wow, that's hefty...

That being said, who in their right minds takes police property off of anything!?!

TMMSports said...

You can't blame Hope for the kids' stupidity, but you can blame Hope for his reaction to the stupidity... which reveals his own stupidity.

The JC Online stated that Hope announced that both players WON'T miss ANY practice time, and WON'T miss any playing time in the bowl game. He'll handle their punishment "internally" (say, not allowing them their 2nd helping/serving at the training table?)

Playing time, and suspensions are the only punishment that has any bearing on these kids. Other programs suspend, or withhold playing time, for non-legal infractions like missing class, or missing meetings.

Hope's players get arrested, and get nothing. (BTW, the report I heard is that they removed the boot, AND took the boots with them. They were recovered after they were arrested.)

Beckford has been in trouble with the law THREE (3) times THIS year, and finally, only after the THIRD strike was he suspended for the bowl game.

Hope is an absolute joke, and an embarrassment to Purdue University. Not only can't he win on the football field, but he can't run a respectable program.