By now most people have heard about the serious accusations being leveled against a member of the UW’s men’s basketball team. It’s a hot button issue, and only getting hotter since last night. King 5 news had an interview with the alleged victim’s father and the UW hoops team traveled to Stanford with a full roster, meaning the player in question will play tonight verses the Cardinal. I wanted to share my thoughts on this situation because frankly I think it’s a very simple and clear problem that can be addressed easily.
First of all, until charges are filed and a name is made public, Coach Romar simply cannot suspend the player. If he were to do that he could cause irreparable harm to the man’s reputation if the accusations are false or not enough evidence is found and therefore there is no case. He’d have that stigma over his head needlessly (Duke lacrosse comes to mind, slightly different, but similar…). So at this point Romar has no choice but to take the whole team. (I have a feeling this is coming down from the AD who was contacted by Seattle police, Romar isn’t making this call all on his own).
If charges are indeed filed and a name is made public, you suspend the player indefinitely. I think at that point the player has much bigger issues to deal with than a game of basketball. Innocence or guilt don’t come into the equation in this step. It’s the right thing to do for the alleged victim, the player, the team and the university. By suspending him then, he is out of the public eye and the case is allowed to progress normally, and the team can simply move.
The fact is if the accusations are true the player should be thrown off the team for good. The accusations are repulsive and disgusting. Coach Romar is above this and should act accordingly. One player does not define a program, and Romar has built this program on trust, honestly and integrity, and idiots like this player have no place in the UW program. Additionally, we need to remember this is one player, not the whole team. I hope fans and non-fans alike realize this and don’t lump the one idiot in with the other players and coaches. That’s simply not fair.
In short, this is a very clear situation: No name, no charges? Can’t suspend or make public. Charges filed with the player identified? Suspend him for the betterment of all involved and simply move on without him.