Thursday, November 29, 2007

Legal Trouble for Another BC Football Player

While the Boston College football team has impressed the ACC with their 10-2 season record and a birth in the ACC championship game this Saturday, they will be playing without backup running back A. J. Brooks, who has been suspended indefinitely from the school.

Brooks has been charged with "assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (his shoe)" stemming from an incident Sunday night in which he allegedly kicked a visitor to BC in the face. (The Boston Globe and Boston Herald erroneously reported earlier that the victim was a residential adviser/assistant.)

Brooks's legal problems add on top of two other BC football players -- DeJuan Tribble and Gosder Cherilus, who were arrested over the summer after a fight in a North Station bar, and later charged with assault and battery. (The Boston Globe article strangely only notes their arrest but not that they were charged.)

Neither Tribble nor Cherilus were suspended for their actions over the summer, while Brooks was suspended without delay. All three were charged with the same assault and battery. The Greatest Bar incident at North Station led to the victim, Sean Maney, needing emergency spinal surgery a couple of days later. (Maney was also charged in the incident, as was off-duty State Police Sgt. Joseph Boike.) BC football coach Jeff Jagodzinski did not respond to the Globe's request to describe why (backup running back) Brooks was suspended, while (starters) Cherilus and Tribble were not; Jagodzinski only said that each case is treated separately.

Methinks it smells suspiciously like the star players getting preferential treatment over the expendable backup player.


Robskillz said...

The altercation involving Tribble and Cherilus is much murkier than the issue with Brooks. Assuming that the only difference is Brook's backup status is too much of a conjecture.

The "victim" in the Greatest Bar altercation has been charged as well with assault and battery. There are very conflicting accounts as to who really started that fight although it doesn't appear the BC players did from either sides' accounts. Given the conflicting accounts, seems reasonable to let it play out in court and not punish these players who do not look like they instigated anything. It looks like they got caught up in a bar fight and were defending their friend.

As for Brooks, he was the sole "attacker" and the attack happened on campus and the victim was a BC residential advisor. Seems to be a much clearer case of guilt, pending trial of course. Not to mention it happening on campus and against a school employee and/or student which frankly raises the level of concern for the school and likely makes it easier for the coaching staff to discern what really happened.

The BC coaching staff aren't lawyers nor judges by any means. Brooks' culpability seems much more assured than either Tribble's or Cherilus', given the nature of the events. I think that's what Coach Jagozinski meant by looking at the individual circumstances.

Michael Pahre said...

Yes, I did note (above) that everyone involved in the Greatest Bar incident has been charged by the DA. Charging all parties in an incident, however, does not necessarily lessen the responsibility of any one of those individuals -- all of them might be found equally guilty of assault an battery.

The murkiness of the Greatest Bar was something I tried to sort out in a previous post. I doubt anyone short of the jury will be able to figure out what happened that day.

You've repeated the "residential adviser" victim identification in the Brooks incident, which was contradicted by BC spokesman Chris Cameron.

Your point on location is well-taken: on-campus vs. off-campus could factor into the decision on whether or not to suspend any of the three players. Note, however, that BC does dole out disciplinary action on students for their off-campus behavior -- which has re-surfaced this fall with their re-emphasized off-campus student behavior policy.

Robskillz said...

My mistake on the residential adviser piece, I missed that in the Herald story.