You will get nothing and like it, Orange-Man.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kirk Ferentz: Reading between the lines

Kirk Ferentz spoke to the media regarding the Douglas/Bowman Affair for the first time yesterday. Obviously, he couldn't delve into specifics, but what he did say was carefully crafted and bad news for the suspended receivers.
“The charges are serious, and there’s a real gap right now between the information the police have provided and then also what the players have provided,” Ferentz said on ESPN. “What we’ve done is suspend both players indefinitely, and I think the only fair thing to do at this point is let it play out in the courts, and we’ll reserve judgment.”
Granted, there may be no greater group of overreachers than state prosecutors. Ferentz would be crazy to take everything on a criminal complaint at face value. That said, as mentioned before, this is some of the most easily verified stuff possible. Online credit cards purchases, shipping addresses, and university computer equipment are all virtual guarantees of identification. So when the players and police are telling Ferentz two very different stories, it's awfully hard to imagine the truth is on the side of City Boyz, Inc. So while it would be nice to believe that the police are in the wrong, it seems far more likely that Douglas and Bowman are still being less than forthright with their coach, and that is not the way back to the field.
“I think what you have to do is let the legal system dictate what’s going to take place here and how accurate the charges are,” Ferentz said. “We’ve seen other instances in college athletics where it appears to be one way and turns out to be another. At this point, what we have to do is let that play itself out.
If this defense of his players seems tepid to you, then you're not alone.
“Obviously, I want to believe our players — what they told me – but we have to go through the process. In the meantime, as far as the team goes, I think what we have to do is almost treat it as if both players are injured. We’ve got to proceed and get ready for the season.”
If Ferentz is saying he "wants to believe" Bowman and Douglas, he's also saying he does not, in fact, believe Bowman and Douglas. In case you're keeping track, that's the third time he deferred to the legal process. While it's all standard procedures for coaches in this situation ("We have to see what the courts say," "I hope it's not true," etc.), Ferentz had opportunities to show real support for the young men, and he instead chose to (correctly) mention that the team is going to move on, instead.

Lastly, because I've got no time to write more about it, Susan Harman (easily the most competent sportswriter at the P-C) has a nice write-up on the linebacking corps this morning.

I'll be out of town for the rest of the weekend, so if anything major comes out at this afternoon's press conference (unlikely), you can bet that sweet, hot ass of yours that JHC, Hawkeye State, and our resident legal expert Ciroc will be here to cover it. Also, as we approach the start of the season: weekend posts!


Patrick said...

While I'm not the resident legal expert, I will throw in my opinion regardless (J.D. with my name on it gives me some credence). Yes, what Ferentz is saying is correct from a coach's standpoint. He's got to have the team move on, or risk losing the season before it ever starts.

As for everything else: what if Douglas and Bowman told KF that they were given permission to use the cards? What if they said that they honestly believed that the cards were being used as a loan, because they didn't personally have credit cards in their own names, and they would pay cash for what was purchased to the cardholders? How can you, without any more knowledge as to what was said to KF, categorically say they were lying? Isn't that unfair to them?

There is absolutely no way to determine what will happen to these guys without knowing more. Assuming they're guilty, it is likely that they'll get probation, etc. But if they have defenses to the charges, that KF knows of but is legally required to not pass along, then they could very easily get off and rejoin the team mid-season. I'm not saying that's the case, but before you say they're 100% guilty and claim their "story" (even without knowing what it is) is false, we should wait for things to play out in the courts a little bit.

JHC said...

Preach it, lawya!

J. said...

Wouldn't the permitted use of borrowed credits as a "loan" be something the NCAA would be interested in? That line of defense could open up a whole different, and potentially much more dangerous, can of worms.

Hawkeye State said...

Exactly. If DD and Bowman used credit cards given to them by their parents or relatives, that would be one thing (though it probably wouldn't result in a reported theft, let alone criminal charges). But if they came from someone else, it has to be someone connected to the program. And that, my friends, is a "holy shit" moment. The possible conspiracy theories are endless.

Patrick said...

I've seen the NCAA rulebook on what is allowed and what isn't (I volunteered for the compliance officer while in school), and it's sick. I have no idea if using somebody else's credit card, to be paid back, is a violation of NCAA rules. It was merely a suggestion, or an alternative to the discussion as to how quickly Bowman and Douglas will be hung out to dry.