A Year in Crime: College Football's All-Dismissed Team
Most college football players forge through four or five years avoiding the heavy hand of the law. Well-behaved and well-connected, they take full advantage of the opportunity only a small fraction of society secures.
Unfortunately, dozens of gridiron amateurs lose focus and headline newspapers for negative reasons.
The advent of social networking sites, like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, have forced these men to curb inappropriate public behavior or risk their missteps being published online.
But, unbelievably, some haven't got the memo.
I compiled a near full squad of law breakers who bucked the rules of common decency. Here's my lowlight reel of dismissed players over the past 12 months:
QB Blaine Dalton—Missouri (Freshman)
Mizzou third-stringer Blaine Dalton, with all due respect to the two ejected North Dakota State quarterbacks, earns the bid at QB.
An early enrollee, Rivals.com rated the Blue Springs, MO native the 12th best dual-threat QB in the nation coming out of high school in 2009.
He's also a dual-threat when the sun goes down.
Suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated brought Dalton to the station on separate occasions.
Don't look for Blaine to get a third chance: The Tigers cut him loose Aug. 28.
RB Glenn Winston—Michigan State (Sophomore)
An orchestrator of beatdowns, Winston twice found himself at the center of fights on or near Michigan State's campus.
In his first showdown, he squared off against MSU hockey player A.J. Sturges. After landing Sturges in the hospital with fairly serious head injuries, Winston was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
After leaving the clink, head coach Mark Dantonio gave a suspended Winston a shot at redemption. And it wasn't long before the running back found himself in handcuffs once again.
Winston pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors on Feb. 18, as well as a violation of his parole. What for? He followed through with a revenge plan the night after being shoved down at a night club.
No. 41 appears headed back to jail for the second time in less than 12 months.
WR Nu'Keese Richardson—Tennessee (Freshman)
Most of us have heard about the armed robbery Richardson was involved in. If you haven't, he and two other Tennessee players attempted to rob two men in a car who pulled up next to them at a gas station.
Unbelievably, one of the football players is alleged to have been wearing apparel that linked him to his school.
But we are left with one question: Why would a young receiver with the whole world in front of him involve himself in this?
With scholarships from many of the nation's top programs, Richardson's NFL prospects looked bright.
A consensus top-100 player coming out of high school, he amazingly avoided jail time and is already enrolled at Hampton University where we hope he'll show the legal kind of flash.
WR Justin Feagin—Michigan (Sophomore)
The University of Michigan isn't used to fielding drug dealers, but with the new type of player head coach Rich Rodriguez recruits, UM fans hope the part from tradition doesn't include more Feagin copycats.
Police records show he arranged a cocaine deal between two friends, one in Ann Arbor and one in his native Florida. It is reported Feagin received $590 from the buyer to ship to his Sunshine State connection.
To the dismay of the investor, the shipment never came and he set a fire outside Feagin's dorm room to scare him.
Beyond selling cocaine, the slot receiver was also alleged to be a known marijuana user and distributor. He also admitted to police he sold drugs throughout high school and was twice arrested for battery and trespass.
Wouldn't it make sense that he avoided serious legal trouble and transferred to a smaller school (Texas Southern) to play football?
WR Preston Parker—Florida State (Junior)
The third time was a charm for chopped wideout Preston Parker.
Arrested on three occasions, his final transgression was falling asleep at the wheel with his car running. When police confronted him, he admitted to drinking and hitting the green earlier that night.
In April 2008, Parker avoided a felony by pleading guilty to weapons and drug charges.
The versatile athlete caught 104 passes for 1,189 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons.
WR Brandon Collins—Texas (Junior)
Already suspended for not keeping pace academically, Collins was charged with aggravated robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity.
His offense? Prior to this year's Rose Bowl national championship game against Alabama, Collins and another man participated in an armed robbery at a Pflugerville, Tex. McDonald's. Collins was said to have driven the getaway car.
In hindsight, I'm 51% certain Collins would pass on this opportunity if given a redo. His $35,000 bond was one of the higher among 2009's dismissed.
TE Jamal Mosley—Oklahoma State (Sophomore)
Technically, Mr. Mosley was not dismissed from Oklahoma State days before the season began. He left on his own accord for "personal reasons".
Having been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana last summer, rape accusations surfaced in September. They were dismissed when neither party appeared in court for a protective order. Then Mosley removed himself from the situation.
But perhaps the biggest story is his immediate connection to Tennessee.
Within hours of bolting, Mosley was said to be transferring to UT. Former head coach Lane Kiffin had already sunk his claws in.
How did their relationship develop so quickly, just hours within leaving the Cowboys?
OG Kenneth Page—Clemson (Freshman)
Like Mosley, I must point out Page was not formally charged with a violent crime. He was sent packing for a "violation of team rules", which leaves the door open for speculation.
Rivals.com ranked Page the ninth-best offensive guard entering college in 2008, but after a redshirt season, Page found himself fourth on the depth chart.
It appears the frosh was not only buried on the depth chart, but also in cash.
OT Evan Tecklenburg—Northern Iowa (Sophomore)
Three arrests in 16 months is enough to get any college athlete booted off the team.
Evan's trouble traces back to Sept. 2008, when he was arrested under the influence of alcohol following a traffic accident.
10 months later, Tecklenburg was arrested for having drug paraphernalia and cited for underage possession alcohol.
The final episode leading to his dismissal? He was arrested again for operating while intoxicated.
Let's hope the hulking offensive lineman bashes this trend.
OT Dennis Ziegler—Indiana (Freshman)
Following the legal path of defensive back and teammate Cortez Smith, criminal charges were also filed against Ziegler after being arrested for conspiracy to commit burglary.
Manning the offensive line for Yuma Community College, Ziegler escaped serious legal ramifications and has been banished to warm temperatures and clear skies.
DT Gary Brown—Florida (Freshman)
Almost equivalent to Tennessee's Richardson in promise, Brown was dismissed from school just as swiftly.
Reports accuse the Rivals.com five-star talent of slapping and scratching two females in their own apartment. The two women, who supposedly were breaking up a party, filed sworn complaints against Brown.
Florida's Associate Athletic Director of Communications said this following the defensive tackle's dismissal: "Gary Brown has had a history during his time here of not meeting a set of expectations we have for the student athletes in our football program and therefore he is no longer part of our program."
According to blogs on TampaBay.com, he was the 27th Gator arrested during Urban Meyer's five-year tenure.
DT John Drew—Duke (Freshman)
Duke freshman John Drew was charged with felonious possession and discharge of a weapon five weeks ago.
Along with two other football players, Drew was suspected to be part of a group that fired a semi-automatic handgun into the air on campus.
He played in every game his rookie season, but apparently never realized how blessed he was.
Guns and campuses don't mix.
DE Brandon Putnam—Duke (Freshman)
Putnam, one of Drew's associates in the semi-automatic gun firing, was given the slip before ever playing a down for Duke.
It's unclear where the athletes acquired the weapon from, but a blatant lack of common sense ultimately led to their stripped opportunities.
This disregard for the law was uncharacteristic of Putnam, who was also a excellent student.
DE Matt Simms—Oregon (Sophomore)
Oregon's football team has grabbed a lot of ink lately for bad behavior. One of the latest stories involves walk-on defensive end Matt Simms.
Two of his teammates (kickers Rob Beard and Mike Bowlin) got kicked around in a brawl. After the fact, Matt spotted a guy he thought was involved and sought revenge.
Though there's no certainty the guy Simms attacked was involved in the earlier dispute, Eugene police cited Simms on misdemeanor assault.
If you're a walk-on, that's more than enough to remove your under-talented butt from the roster. Coaches will not hang onto a non-producer who brings little more than bad press to the program.
LB Elijah Fields—Pittsburgh (Senior)
Fields put in three years of hard labor at Pitt, only to be sent packing.
What was said to have been his mistake? Flossin'.
If you're not hip to the lingo, "flossin" is street for showing off something with great material value.
Similar to Clemson castaway Page, the linebacker posted pictures of thousands of dollars online. Regarding the money, Fields quoted on his Twitter account:
"More to Come and Its Mine BITCH Burrr, never knew Football was gon get me all this money. Sike I knew haha.”
Now, Fields is free to "floss" all he wants.
LB Andre Davis—Nevada (Sophomore)
It is every mid-major football player's dream to play in a bowl game, and the Nevada Wolf Pack did just that in December.
But second-year linebacker Andre Davis never took the field in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. He was busted for shoplifting at a store in Waikiki.
As if missing a bowl game wasn't punishment enough, head coach Chris Ault promptly cut Davis from the team.
A hard lesson for attempting the ole' five-finger discount.
LB Khiry Battle—Arkansas (Sophomore)
Though none of his mistakes were violent, Battle was a two-time offender at Arkansas.
Last June, the 20-year-old was arrested after failing a breathalyzer test when the police pulled him over. A month prior, he was arrested for failing to appear in court to take care of a careless driving ticket.
Two arrests in such a short time period contributed heavily to his downfall.
CB Mike Edwards—Tennessee (Freshman)
On the heels of failing a drug test, Edwards was a part of the crew that grabbed national headlines for robbing two men.
Police discovered a powered pellet gun in their car moments after the robbery attempt, but it is unclear from the security tape whether Edwards or Richardson brandished the weapon.
Edwards, a heralded recruit from Ohio, made five tackles for the Volunteers before losing his scholarship.
CB Paul Stephens—Arkansas State (Senior)
One of the wildest stories of the bunch, Stephens was shot in the torso during an alleged burglary attempt.
A 25-year-old man told police he fired at and hit an intruder breaking into his apartment. Afterward, it was speculated Stephens and the shooter knew each other.
The projected starting cornerback registered an interception in 9 games in 2008.
CB Brandon Jones—Washington State (Junior)
Over the winter, Jones twice found trouble with the law.
Washington State Police arrested Jones and, like several others on the All-Dismissed Team, he was charged with driving under the influence.
This experience followed a previous domestic dispute arrest in November that was later dropped.
He started 11 games in 2009 (37 tackles, 1 interception).
S Roderick Jenrette—Michigan State (Junior)
Jenrette spent the whole 2008 campaign away from the team "dealing with undisclosed personal issues".
Second-chance advocate Dantonio let him rejoin the team in 2009, despite rumors swirling around that Roderick was in a legal mess in his native Florida.
Jenrette promptly made Dantonio reconsider his second chance policy by taking part in the infamous Rather Hall incident, where a double-digit number of Spartans stormed a fraternity award ceremony to intimidate those who shoved their buddy Winston down the night previous.
Jenrette was almost immediately expelled from Michigan State, leaving a thin secondary short one very talented player.
S Shiloah Te'o—Brigham Young (Sophomore)
Te'o went two months unpunished by BYU football for a DUI he received in August 2009.
But the incident eventually caught up to the second-year safety.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall removed Te'o from the roster after learning Te'o lied to him about the drunk driving arrest.
Upon attending the university, students at the Mormon-based school agree to live by BYU's honor code, which forbids drinking alcohol. Te'o's slip of dishonesty and consumption of a few too many brews ultimately led to his downfall.
K Mike Bowlin—Oregon (Freshmen)
There were no kickers expelled in Division I college football last season, but Bowlin was part of a duo that found trouble.
Bowlin found himself in the middle of a brawl and fellow kicker Rob Beard joined in to help his swinging teammate. In the end, Beard was severely beaten and hospitalized.
As a result of the melee, and possibly a three-way kicking competition for the starter's role next season, Bowlin left the Ducks.