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Monday Hub Is The Rap Sheet

Slick Rick and Caveat Emptor. As solidly behind Rick Neuheisel's hiring at UCLA as Los Angeles appears to be, Washington is adamantly warning its conference mate: Let the buyer beware. There's already the obvious string of institutional malfeasance following Neuheisel everywhere he goes. Now, The Seattle Times, seeking to remind readers why, exactly, the road back to the top of a major college program began with a volunteer gig as a high school assistant, went in-depth Sunday - and will continue through the week - on the off-field adventures during the on-field glory days of Neuheisel's tenure with the Huskies, the 2000 Pac Ten champion/Rose Bowl team that finished third in the final polls but was besieged by arrests and criminal accusations, fielding an opening day roster that included:


Ah, the, uh, the good times.
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• A safety who, according to police reports, had cut his wife's face, broken her arm and broken her nose. He had already served time for choking her into unconsciousness. While playing in front of 70,000 fans on Montlake that day, he was wanted on an outstanding warrant.

• A linebacker under investigation for robbing and shooting a drug dealer. He had left behind a fingerprint stained with his blood. By the season opener, police knew the print was his -- but they didn't charge him until the season was over.

• A tight end under investigation on suspicion of rape.

At least a dozen members of the Rose Bowl team were arrested that year or charged with a crime that carried possible jail time. At least a dozen others on that team got in trouble with the law in other seasons.
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The Times is as concerned with punishment as it is crime, piling on with a convincing pattern of inaction:
When a star player made headlines for crashing his pickup into a retirement home and fleeing, Neuheisel suspended him -- for half a game. When another player was late to a team meeting, the coach suspended him -- for a full game. Then, after the game, Neuheisel said: "We decided we'd put him in if it was necessary. We decided it wasn't necessary."
Legal authorities weren't much tougher on Husky outlaws.

When one player was sentenced to 30 days in jail, the judge wrote in her order: "To be served after football season."

Another Husky, facing a felony charge of assaulting a police officer, was released without bail and granted a delay so that he could keep playing.

Yet another player in trouble was allowed to perform 150 hours of community service at football camps.
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Part One, from Sunday: Tight end Jerramy Stevens, future NFL starter and official SMQ Video Hero for his towering efforts in consecutive championship seasons on NCAA Football 2002, was accused of rape outside a frat house in July, possibly having slipped a date rape drug to a freshman who remembered nothing despite only moderate drinking and a witness who told police the girl was "Half passed out ... eyes glazed ... no one home." Stevens, who had been arrested for helping break a kid's jaw at a prearranged fight in high school and been sentenced to a stint in prison for testing positive for marijuana while on house arrest (not to mention a separate arrest for punching holes in walls), sent the same girl a vicious e-mail (a "funny ass" e-mail, according to a teammate - text reprinted by the Times, XXX material exluded) and was involved in a hit-and-run as lawyers debated prosecution of his case. DNA collected from the supposed rape scene matched Stevens'. Prosecutors declined to press charges.
After the announcement, Stevens thanked his teammates for their support. Neuheisel, the head coach, had told Stevens beforehand that a felony charge would mean an indefinite suspension. Now, Neuheisel said, "My general feeling is one of relief."

Parker, the police detective who handled the case, recently said:

"I thought he should have been charged. I think most people in the Police Department thought he should have been charged. From the police perspective, I think there was overwhelming evidence that a crime had occurred. And then I think we should have left it to a jury to decide.

"I think we just felt, in our unit and in the Police Department as a whole, that this case was handled differently. And we felt it was because he was a University of Washington football star."
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Stevens was issued a $119 ticket for the hit-and-run. A few months after Washington won the Rose Bowl, he crashed his truck into a retirement home and drove away as residents took down his license plate.
Stevens lied to police, saying he didn't know who had been driving the truck. Caught in the lie, he apologized. Hunsinger, called at home in the wee hours, agreed to defend Stevens. Neuheisel, in San Diego playing golf, issued a statement saying he'd address the team on the need to make good decisions.

A month later, Stevens pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and received a 90-day jail sentence, suspended on condition that he stay out of trouble. Stevens' parents took the truck's keys away from him. Neuheisel suspended Stevens from the first half of that season's opening game. Stevens said afterward: "It was hard sitting the first half."

Stevens has learned his lesson, Neuheisel said.
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Stevens has been arrested twice for driving under the influence as a pro. The university settled with his alleged victim - and three other women subsequently accusing UW football players with rape between 2000 and 2003 - for $300,000. Read the whole thing.

Part Two, from today's editions, covers the investigation of linebacker Jeremiah Pharms, who had avoided a proseuction for punching another student in 1998 and in 1999 for allegedly assaulting his wife (who was charged her own self with assaulting Pharms' girlfriend in the stands during Washington's win over Oregon the next day), for shooting and wounding a weed dealer and stealing his stash in March of 2000. On Pharms' coach, who had been informed of Pharms' assault arrest the morning of the Oregon game: "Neuheisel said he had no idea Pharms was under investigation" for the shooting. Again, RTWT.

Good, detailed investigative work by the Times.


The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Dismissed, for threatening to "blow up campus" on his Facebook page, Wake Forest running back Luke Caparelli, who also promised friends and fans logging on to his profile over Christmas break that "for those left standing he will have an uzi locked and loaded in his bag."

Helpful note from the Winston Salem-Journal: "Uzi is a kind of submachine gun."

Whether he withdrew or was expelled from the university is in the air, if it matters - Caparelli apparently didn't want to be at their stupid school, anyway, also allegedly posting, "Tomorrow I return to the hell known as (W)ake, surrounded by arrogant, rich, spoiled little brats." This is probably not Jim Grobe's idea of exemplary team morale.


Only seven and a half months to go, Phil.
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Caparelli hasn't been charged with a crime, surprisingly - police searched his bags two weeks ago and found nothing.

Charged, with disorderly conduct, all-SEC lineman Anthony Parker of Tennessee, the fourth Volunteer arrest in two weeks. Four days after Phil Fulmer sent the whole team on early morning sprints in response to a misdemeanor drankin'/scrappin' charge against running back Daryl Vereen, Knoxville police Saturday came across Parker "yelling loudly and waving his arms in the parking lot of Sutters Mill Apartments," then refusing to leave the scene unless escorted in handcuffs to the local intake center, where he posted $500 bond.

Dismissed, officially, embattled Penn State players Chris Baker, Navorro Bowman and Knowledge Timmons, pending the resolution of court cases against the trio for their role in a fight in November that left a man with, essentially, a broken face. None of the three played in the Alamo Bowl, and Baker is also still awaiting charges on the well-publicized apartment melee that originally broke the bank on offseason charges last April.