BC must stand for Basketball Criminals

Good thing for Boston College that its too late for the ACC to cancel its invitation.

Fascinating story in the Boston Globe by Bob Hohler about the state of BC's basketball program, which rivals Bob Huggins' Cincy program in terms of criminals produced.

The events followed a tumultuous three-year turn at BC by Andrew Bryant, a scholarship player who became embroiled in a bloody barroom brawl, threatened to ''beat the [expletive] out" of a female student, violated a restraining order the woman secured against him, and was pistol-whipped by a convicted drug felon in a college dormitory in 2003 before the school cut its ties with him and a star teammate, Ryan Sidney, who was present at the pistol-whipping.

Bryant's experience served as a case study in how Skinner and the school have responded to the team's off-court troubles. A 6-foot-7-inch high school star from Denison, Texas, Bryant was disciplined in January 2001 for entering Mary Ann's, a bar near BC where the brawl occurred, while underage at 18. Teammate Kenny Harley, 22, also was involved in the incident.

Assault charges against Bryant were dropped after his lawyer cited plans to challenge the process police used for witnesses to identify him. And [head coach Al] Skinner has steadfastly defended Bryant, asserting in a recent interview that young, high-profile athletes need time and experience to learn to walk away from potential confrontations.

If Bryant learned anything from the incident, however, it betrayed him 10 months later. Five days before he was scheduled to make his basketball debut for BC, he clashed in the campus library with a female student who demanded her ''very expensive" sunglasses back from him, according to a Suffolk County prosecutor's affidavit in Brighton District Court.
Bryant's response?

''The defendant looked at one of his friends, laughed, took [the glasses] off his face, and refused to give them back," the affidavit stated. ''[The woman] attempted to grab the glasses from Mr. Bryant and he pushed her out of the way and started walking toward the entrance of the library. [The woman] continued to try to grab the glasses from the defendant. Finally the defendant said, 'Fine, you want your glasses back?' and proceeded to break them in half and throw them on the ground."

The next day, Bryant left a phone message for the woman, which she gave to the police.
''I'm going to beat the [expletive] out of you . . . I swear to God . . . I'm going to slap the [expletive] out of you . . . And that's not a threat, it's a promise," Bryant said on the message, according to court records.

Additionally, Bryant became acquainted with a convicted drug dealer, Adamu Tallen, who was found wearing a bloody t-shirt July 26, 2003 when BC police responded to a report of a fight at Rubenstein Hall. When Tallen saw the officer he ran inside his dorm room and attempted to hide a 9-millimeter automatic. A scuffle ensued between Tallen and the police officer, with Tallen spending the night in the local jail.

Apparently, the blood on Tallen's t-shirt was Bryant's. The two had gotten into a fight, with Tallen pistol-whipping Bryant before threatening to kill him. A friend of the BC basketball player and the convicted drug dealer was forced to step in and play the role of peace-maker to prevent the BC basketball player from ending up in the obiturary page the nest day.

The articles goes on to describe other shady going-ons including BC star player, Jermaine Watson, jumping from a second story window to avoid armed assailants, a player using counterfeit money and his friend hiding the counterfeit money in his rectum.

The one subplot that connects all these stories is BC head coach Al Skinner's complete inability to discipline his players. Only after they have commited multiple offenses are the players even suspended one game.

This will not be the first time the ACC has had to deal with a troublesome athletic program. Bobby Dowden's FSU team has frequently made its way into the police blotter. At least with Miami and Virginia Tech the ACC knows what it is getting its self into. Both programs have made headlines for the trouble their football players have gotten into. But the problems at BC are fairly recent, and beyond the Watson story, none have made it into the national news.

(hat tip to MMJD for the interesting read)

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