More and more stories surrounding Missouri basketball players starting to be made public. According to the Columbia Tribune , Columbia police say a few of the players have been at the scene of other violent crimes in the city. This coming just a couple of weeks after that nightclub fight that left Stefhon Hannah with a broken jaw.
Back in December, Hannah and fellow teammate Jason Horton got caught in a crowd that witnessed a fight outside a convenience store where shots were fired. In that incident, neither Hannah or Horton were considered suspects, but rather witnesses.
You’ll also remember back in July, DeMarre Carroll was shot in the ankle outside of night club in July where once again Stefhon Hannah was there along with Keon Lawrence and Michael Anderson Jr. University officials said Carroll was acting as a good samaritan. University spokesman Dave Reiter told the Columbia Tribune being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn’t make you a criminal.
He’s absolutely right, but nothing good ever happens after midnight and that’s when all of these incidents took place. Since these incidents, which have been handled internally by the University, a curfew was put in place, but Hannah, Horton, Leo Lyons, Darryl Butterfield, and Marshall Brown broke that team rule in this latest incident in late January. We’ve all done dumb things as kids, but there comes a point, when you’re a junior or senior in college, that you need to start making better choices.
I don’t think these are bad kids, and kids that go out looking for trouble. Outside of Hannah, who’s status is in limbo while he’s back in Chicago, all of these seniors are scheduled to graduate. However, you would think, and again, maybe this is nothing more than just strange unusual circumstances, but if it were me, and I was involved in just one incident where shots were fired, you can bet I’d be scared (you know what) and would think it’s time re-evaluate when and where I hang out with friends. As far as someone like Horton, since July he’s witnessed two shootings and saw one teammate get shot in the ankle, another get his jaw broken, it’s time to wake up. It’s not just him. How many more times are these players going to put themselves in potential life-threatening situations?
Also, in a related story, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a story on an NCAA rule that if a scholarship player fails to graduate or drop out, that school runs the risk of losing that scholarship. That’s what the Missouri Tigers have been faced with from Stefhon Hannah. After having surgery on his jaw, he bolted Columbia and returned to Chicago and hasn’t been heard from in two weeks. The risk for Mizzou losing that scholarship is slim because it’s based on other factors such as graduation rates of other players on the team, and other formulas used by the NCAA, but Hannah’s got 7 days left before this deadline and it could lead to the Tigers not being able to replace this scholarship. However, there are, and I don’t want to call them loopholes, but options for the University to avoid losing that scholarship.