Monday, September 21, 2009

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Scheduled to enter pleas in Dane County court today are Diamond Taylor and Jeremy Glover, the two former UW hoopsters who’ve been charged with burglary and possession of stolen property. Campus cops say the two went through several unlocked dorm rooms and stole cash - around four hundred bucks - and small electronics. They were essentially nabbed red-handed.

They were also charged with underage drinking, but let’s face it: it would have been remarkable if a UW freshman was NOT drinking on Labor Day weekend.

Andy Baggot, a veteran State Journal sports columnist who knows about a zillion times as much about UW sports as I do, opined Friday that the UW Athletic Department essentially threw the two young men under the bus. The brain trust on Monroe Street didn’t send a representative to their first appearance, and kicked them off the hoops team Wednesday, before “the legal system had a chance to play out”, as they say over there in jock-dom.

Baggot says this leads you to believe the UW Athletic Department is convinced the two are guilty of something serious. He expected more from the department, and says the UW should have done a better job of supporting and backing the two young men.

It’s very difficult to publicly defend the behavior of somebody caught stealing cash and iPods and cell phones by systematically going through unlocked dorm rooms. What are you supposed to do, if you’re the coach? Tell them “look, fellows, maybe this sort of thing is OK where you come from, but here at the UW, we don’t look kindly on it”? Of course not. And then, as Baggot points out, there’s that pesky “innocent until proven guilty” concept.

The duo made their first appearance in our county’s justice system accompanied by “regular” lawyers. Competent counsel, I’m sure; but not with the style, panache, and experience of somebody like Charlie Giesen, who has represented more than a few UW jocks who’ve run afoul of the law.

These two young men, who no doubt are very skilled at the game of basketball, have not yet proven they can play competitively at the NCAA-Division-1-Big Ten level. Excuse me for being so cynical, but they have not yet proven themselves to be big-time-lawyer-worthy.

Sort of like being statue-worthy over there in jock land: Barry Alvarez: statue-worthy. Bret Bielema: we’ll see.

Had the charges against Taylor and Glover come a couple years from now, and if either had been averaging 20 points or 15 rebounds a game, I think the UW Athletics Department’s response might be different.


  1. This is so true and yet sadly unfortunate that the UW is not giving these two yound men a chance to redeem themselves. The pressure of being away from home as a freshmen is great now add the pressure of playing Div 1 basketball. Thas's alot where were their mentors or assigned upperclassmen? Everyone makes a poor choice at this age and WE ALL know this is totally uncharacteristic of these two young men. I pray that favor is bestowed upon them and that the justice system really sees this incident for what it was... two sily drunken freshmen going into unlocked dorm rooms taking small valueables as a prank of sort, that pokes fun at students who think its perfectly safe to sleep with their door open where as in most areas(urban or subuurban) this is unspeakable. May God's Grace and Mercy shine on you, Diamond Taylor and Jeremy Glover, today as you appear in court. Remember to give him all the praise, glory, and honor.

  2. I hope the anonymous comment was meant sarcastically.

    Maybe Chris Chelios could endow a legal defense fund for UW athletes. He can certainly sympathize with silly, drunken, youthful pranks, and he has had years of success in the NHL despite his colorful arrest record.

  3. Let me guess Jill you are from Mayberry? ANd everything is LIlly WHite? Get off your high horse and stopp looking down your nose at two young men who made a mistake!

  4. I know jeremy Glover, he's played with and against my son for several years, the young man, has a great future, whether this set back keeps him from playing for coach ryan, will be played out, over the next several months, but in life, there are lessons, jeremy made a bad decision, and will have grow up very quickly, in regards to this matter, but Please know, all of our young adults are going to make poor decisions, and we all need to embrace this young man, because whats done is done, but to turn our backs on him, and have him figure it all out on his own, isn't very adult like. lets put him back on the correct path to success, becaue I know he'll over come this minor set back, lets all remember he's only 18-years old, has many more years ahead of him, we just have to make sure he learns from this, know he's let his parents and the coaching staff down, but he can correct all of this, by taking control of his future, and not lead or follow trouble, because that's exactly what you'll get trouble!!!!!!