It seems like we’re constantly hearing about college athletes getting themselves into trouble, with athlete scandals and arrests as a hot topic in news and sports blogs. If you think that college athletes seem to get in trouble more than anyone else, you’re not imagining things: The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that arrests of college athletes are more than double that of professionals, an impressive number in all the wrong ways.
We’ve found 15 of the most interesting and scandalous incidents to disgrace college athletics, from bar fights to real-life pimping:
1. OSU linemen in a bar fight
In 2010, two Oklahoma State linemen got into a bar fight, but not just any fight: these two were going after each other, an incident that no doubt brings lots of pride and class to the OSU football organization. It sounds like it was quite the grisly battle, as lineman Anton Blatnik hit fellow lineman Stephen Denning in the face with a beer bottle before the cops stepped in. Denning was not deterred by the cops or his own bleeding face, however, as he tried to fight through police force to retaliate against Blatnik. There’s no word on what started the fight, but it ended with a taser shot for Denning, and a misdemeanor charge for Blatnik.
2. Felony sexual assault charges on Missouri running back
The Missouri Tigers dismissed their star running back, Derrick Washington, after he was charged with felony sexual assault against a former Missouri athletics tutor. The dismissal was a painful one, to be sure: in two seasons, Washington put up impressive numbers including 1,901 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. But the University of Missouri has a policy against allowing athletes charged with felonies to play until their cases are resolved. For Washington, that turned into a permanent suspension. Since his dismissal from Missouri, Washington has plead guilty to another assault charge, this time for allegations of third-degree assault against an ex-girlfriend.
3. Assaulted by an Oregon Duck
Missouri isn’t the only school with a violent running back problem. The Duck’s star running back LaMichael James was charged with assaulting his former girlfriend, an incident that included attempted strangulation. But James’ punishment wasn’t nearly as harsh as the one received by Missouri’s Washington: he was clipped for a single misdemeanor harassment charge with just 10 days in jail, and he didn’t actually serve any time. Oregon gave James a slap on the wrist, suspending him for their opening game, but allowing him to continue to play on the team thereafter.
4. Ball State bar fight
Bar fights seem to be a popular offense for otherwise defensive players: two linebackers for Ball State ended up in a bar fight one Friday night. Travis Freeman and Kenneth Lee, Jr. were charged with Class B battery misdemeanors after getting into a scuffle at a bar and grill. According to reports, Lee grabbed a victim by his neck, and Freeman stepped in to back him up. While we don’t think this incident is anything to be proud of, at least Ball State can say more than OSU: these teammates were working together.
5. Improper benefits for Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush is certainly not the first football player to be embroiled in an improper benefits scandal, but his does seem to be the most damaging to date. The NCAA slammed Bush when they found out that he received at least $200,000 from a sports agent for playing at USC, a major violation in college football, where pay-for-play situations are strictly prohibited. As a result, Bush was forced to return his Heisman Trophy. USC was hit pretty hard as well, getting put on probation for four years, and vacating several wins from the 2004 and 2005 seasons. They were also deemed ineligible to compete in 2010 and 2011 bowl games. Bush’s is certainly a damaging case of temptation and punishment.
6. University of Michigan’s money laundering
While Reggie Bush’s damaging pay-for-play transaction was pretty straightforward and simple, the University of Michigan’s basketball team found itself in a complicated financial predicament. During a six-year investigation, it was revealed that basketball team booster Ed Martin was making payments to players in order to launder money from an illegal gambling operation. The investigation was huge, involving not just the NCAA and Big Ten, but the FBI, IRS, and Department of Justice, with former players called before a federal grand jury. It was discovered that players borrowed several hundreds of thousands of dollars from Martin. The NCAA came down hard on the team, revoking 1997 and 1998 tournament championships and Final Four appearances in both 1992 and 1993. The team was also placed on probation, and vacated from postseason eligibility for two seasons. Individual players, who had since gone on to become professional basketball players, were punished severely as well, revoking Chris Webber’s All-American Honors, Robert Traylor’s MVP awards, and Louis Bullock’s school records. Ed Martin himself was fined and suspended by the NBA after performing public service.
7. LSU leaders in bar fight
Two LSU football players, quarterback Jordan Jefferson and his teammate, Joshua Johns, were arrested on felony charges following a large bar fight in Baton Rouge that injured four people. They have both been suspended indefinitely from both LSU and the team, which is not at all surprising. What is surprising, however, is that their legal counsel seems to condone this behavior. Jefferson’s lawyer, Lewis Unglesby is quoted as saying, “Jordan needs to be back playing football. At the end of this, the evidence will be that Jordan Jefferson acted as a leader for his team, doing what he was taught to do, being a good teammate.” Jefferson is accused of kicking someone in the face during the fight. The team has moved on in their season without the help of their troubled leader.
8. Taking the “pimp” image a little too literally
Plenty of college football players glorify the image of men as “pimps,” but we’re of the understanding that for most, it’s just an image, not reality. Berkeley running back Tracy Slocum actually was a pimp, however, and he was arrested by the U.S. Marshal Service after it was discovered that he had been marketing prostitutes for several months. His charges include domestic violence, sexual assault, and of course, prostitution. Slocum’s career with Berkeley is over, and it looks like his future is in jail.
9. Homophobic altercation, you guessed it, at a bar
Colorado Mesa University redshirt freshman running back Shane Williams got into a fight with a lesbian couple at a Grand Junction bar. Williams apparently made comments about a girl looking like a boy, which led to a fight outside the bar. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault on the victim, who reported a fractured skull, black eye, and difficulty hearing after she was slammed onto the pavement. Things don’t look good for the young running back, who was also arrested for being a minor in possession of alcohol and possession of a fake ID. Formal charges are pending.
10. SMU’s slush fund
In 1985, the SMU football program was put on probation for three years as a result of recruiting violations, but SMU pretty much ignored the entire thing and just kept on paying players. It was revealed that the payments had continued on a large scale into 1986, when an investigation discovered that 21 players were receiving monthly payments from a booster slush fund. Even the school’s board of governors got in on the act, ignoring the NCAA to honor their previous agreements with players and devising a plan to keep paying players until they graduated, slowly phasing out the slush fund. But the truth came out, and punishment came down hard. Both the 1987 and 1988 seasons were canceled, and the team was banned from bowl games and live TV until 1989. Support for the program was cut, and the team lost 55 scholarship positions, as well as four coaching positions. As a result, new players shied away from the scandal-ridden team, and SMU football is still suffering even now. The team did not get a bowl invitation until 2009, and since 1989, has only had three winning seasons.
11. Colorado recruiting and rape scandals
The Colorado Buffaloes had serious sexual assault issues in the 90s. In 1997, it was revealed that Colorado football recruiting often involved underage drinking, sexual harassment, and even rape after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by CU recruits. Nothing came of that claim, but in 2004, sexual scandal broke out against the Buffs again. The team’s former kicker, a female player named Katie Hnida, revealed that during the 1999 season, she was the subject of sexually graphic comments, groping, and flashing by a variety of teammates. She was eventually raped by a teammate, but didn’t report the incident because she felt unwelcome among the players as well as by CU coach Gary Barnett. After the rape, Hnida dropped out of CU and fell into depression before returning to college to kick for the New Mexico Lobos in 2002.
12. Teammate murder at Baylor University
In 2003, it was found that Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy had been murdered by his former teammate, Carlton Dotson, who shot him during an argument that broke out while the two were recreationally firing guns. Dotson was convicted, and sentenced to a 35-year prison term. That’s the sad, but simple part of this story. During the time Dennehy went missing, Baylor and the NCAA began to investigate several allegations of misconduct in the men’s basketball team, which uncovered an incredible list of penalties. These included drug use and pay-for-play player support, specifically for the murdered Dennehy. Baylor was severely punished for the scandal, with a probation that lasted until 2010, and the team suffered from defeat until 2008, winning a total of just 36 games from 2003 to 2007.
13. The NCAA’s first death penalty: Kentucky
Although it seems players are terribly behaved these days, the truth is college sport scandal is nothing new. More than 60 years ago in 1951, it was revealed that University of Kentucky basketball players accepted bribes from gamblers for throwing the National Invitation Tournament game in the 1948-1949 season. This opened an NCAA investigation into the team, in which it was found that basketball players were receiving inappropriate financial aid, and thus ineligible to play, but were allowed to play anyway. In light of the point-shaving scandal and impermissible financial aid, the NCAA enacted its first “death penalty,” effectively canceling the University of Kentucky’s 1952-1953 season with a boycott, and a ban on postseason play for the entire athletic program.
14. ASU cheerleader porn
In a move that can only be described as terribly awesome, former Arizona State University cheerleader Courtney Simpson managed to link her cheerleading career with her new job as a porn star, wearing her old cheerleader uniform in a pornographic video. Not at all surprisingly, ASU was not pleased about making an appearance in Gina Lynn’s Double Dutch, and investigated the possibility of trademark and intellectual property infringement.
15. TCU drug bust
In February 2012, Fort Worth police busted 17 TCU students in an undercover drug sting, which included four TCU football players. According to reports, police uncovered widespread drug use on the football team, with at least four players acting as drug dealers for players and TCU students. Apparently, drug use on the TCU team was no secret, at least to everyone except coach Gary Patterson, who learned about the problem from a recruit who turned the team down due to the rampant drug situation. This prompted Patterson to order a surprise drug test, a test that 82 players failed. The situation is still developing, but we expect to see harsh punishment from Patterson, who shared in a statement that “drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff.”
I Just Came Back From The Final Four In San Antonio, And It Was Incredible!
Back in March, our friends at Buick (an official sponsor of the NCAA) invited us to take part in their March Madness Buick Bracketball Challenge, pitting me against a group of my peers as we battled it out for bragging rights… and a trip for two to the Final Four!
Talk about some high-stakes! According to the rules, whoever managed to outlast any bracket busters and secure a top spot on the leaderboard would win a trip to San Antonio for the Final Four games, complete with tickets, a hotel room, and a Buick loaner to get around town.
The only problem? I’ve never actually participated in a March Madness bracket before, so my odds were slim to none. But I decided to give it a shot anyway, going with some of my favorite teams, and picking my beloved Villanova for the win.
Virginia’s first-round upset by UMBC was a HUGE blow to me (and pretty much everyone else), as I had them facing off against Villanova in the end. But amazingly enough, my other picks performed much better, and I was holding steady in the top 5 for much of the series.
After the Elite 8, I got an e-mail that was a total game-changer – “You’ve landed yourself a top spot in the Buick Bracketball Challenge leaderboard and will be headed, along with a guest, to San Antonio for the Final Four games next weekend on behalf of Buick!”
My jaw about hit the floor. I was going to the Final Four!
Buick was awesome, hooking us up with some incredible seats for the games (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was actually sitting in the same section as us, only MUCH closer to the court), a hotel room within walking distance of the Alamodome, and a Buick Enclave to get around town.
San Antonio is such a cool town, and we made the most of our time there exploring the city. The guy sitting next to us on our flight suggested that we check out The Guenther House for breakfast. The food was amazing (their waffles are like nothing you’ve ever had before), and it’s a really unique venue, an old flour mill from the 1800s.
After breakfast, we made our way downtown to the Riverwalk for the Rally on the River, where the team bands took to the water for a floating Pep Rally. People’s excitement levels were off the charts, it was really something to witness. We walked the length of the Riverwalk, taking in the sights and just people watching..
Of course, we had to visit The Alamo (no sign of Pee-Wee’s missing bike), which was located right down the street from our hotel. As the day went on, it got pretty warm, so we decided to escape the heat and check out Fan Fest. There were tons of cool exhibits here, and Buick had a huge activation as well, complete with a basketball court, a bunch of vehicles on display, and their Fandom University.
Before long, it was time for us to make our way to the Alamodome for the first two games, and it was a memorable experience for sure. Devoted fans were out in full force rooting on their teams, and the action on the court was intense. Michigan put an end to Loyola’s Cinderella story, and Villanova was on fire, making short work of Kansas with 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
Monday night’s game was one for the record books, with Villanova decimating Michigan and taking home the win with a score of 79-62. ‘Nova was on fire all night, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this amazing weekend.
Thanks again to Buick for an incredible experience, it’s one I won’t soon forget!
Harry Kane Achieves The Century
Harry Kane is comfortably one of the best strikers in world football right now. He has started this season in the rich vein of form that he finished the last, and so far the 24 year old has hit 31 goals in 32 games in all competitions. It’s set to be another hugely impressive campaign for the 24 year old Spurs striker, as Kane prepares to feature for England at the World Cup in Russia in the summer; and it’s also very likely that he will skipper the Three Lions too.
You could say that this has been a year to remember for Kane for a lot of reasons. It wasn’t so long ago that we were talking about his surpassing Alan Shearer’s record for scoring the most Premier League goals in a calendar year (36) when he took his tally in 2017 to 39, after a superb hat trick against Southampton in a 5-2 victory for Spurs. Kane had another target in mind, the Premier League 100 club.
Kane headed into the game at Anfield knowing that he only needed one goal to reach the landmark of 100 Premier League goals. While Spurs had beaten Manchester United last time out, Kane drew a blank in front of goal, but he wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity again, or was he? Spurs were actually behind in the game through Kane’s main rival for the Premier League golden boot, Mohamed Salah, before Victor Wanyama got them back on level terms with a powerful effort from distance. In the 87th minute, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was adjudged to have fouled Kane, with Spurs awarded a penalty as a result.
This was the moment, it was Kane to take the spot kick to score his 100th Premier League goal but he remarkably missed it, with Karius saving it. Salah then added a second for Liverpool just a few minutes later, and it looked like Kane’s day would be put on hold once again, before Spurs were awarded another penalty. The Spurs striker made no mistake this time, equalizing for Tottenham to make it 2-2 and scoring his 100th Premier League goal in the process. He managed to hit 100 in just 136 games, with only Alan Shearer completing the feat quicker (124).
Kane recently overtook Teddy Sheringham to become the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer for Spurs and he’s the only likely candidate to break Alan Shearer’s all time Premier League goals record too. He currently stands at 24th on the list with 100 alongside Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and has 160 more goals to score to equal Shearer’s record that has looked unbeatable at times. Anyone who has the feeling that Kane can go on to squash a few more records, should have a look at the betting.com online betting news site, to ensure you get the best odds and bonuses on offer.
The best chance of someone equaling it and then surpassing it rests with Harry Kane. He’s the right age at 24 and still has plenty of time to do so. He’s scoring goals for fun and you could even say that he hasn’t even hit his peak yet. If he continues as he is now, he will undoubtedly become the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer within the next few seasons.
The Grand National: The Race That Stops A Nation
There are many big horse racing meetings and races in the UK, but one race stands above all the others as the race where everyone places a bet, and everyone stops to watch it. That race is the Grand National, an event that takes place in April (the 2018 edition of this fantastic contest will take place on April 14th) so mark that day in your calendar as one to remember.
The build up to this unique test for horses is huge, and there are many trial races where horses will battle it out against each other to prove they are worthy of taking their place in the 40 strong field that will head to post on the day of the race. What makes the Grand National unique is the challenge of both the distance and the fences that require jumping.
The fences that the horses jump are extremely unique, and they require a special horse to just get around the course safely, let alone win the race. Then, there is the test of the distance, which is four miles, two and a half furlongs, a huge test of stamina and one that certainly favors the bravest horses and jockeys out there.
Betting on the Grand National is huge, and many people will place their bets either on the day of the race or well in advance. People who only bet once a year will turn out in force to head to their local bookmaker and place their bets, before sitting together as a family to watch the fantastic spectacle live on TV. Oddschecker has many free bet offers for the Grand National available already and many people will have already placed their bets on the race, such is the importance of the event.
The favorite for the race right now is Blaklion, a horse who finished 4th in last season’s race. That experience will have done him well, and he has proven that he has the ability and heart to jump around these fences not only once, but twice before. That puts him in pole position and he looks to have a great chance of running well in the race.
Last year’s winner, One For Arthur, will unfortunately not try to repeat his heroics of last season as he has been ruled out of the race due to injury, leaving the door open for a new champion.