Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
A figure in one of the most notorious cases of school sports hazing in recent memory — and his family — were counseled by their attorneys to stay silent in the face of accusations of possible sexual crimes, intense media coverage and a backlash from some locals. After breaking their silence, the figure and his family proved their attorney provided wise counsel.
Scott Laskowski was one of four Carmel (Ind.) High School basketball players (now all graduated) who faced criminal charges following two separate hazing incidents, one on a team bus on the way back from a game, and one in the team locker room. Laskowski pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to the locker room incident, though he was suspended from the team and expelled from classes. Laskowski is the son of former Indiana University basketball player and announcer John Laskowski, making him, by accident of birth, the most prominent of the four accused. (Two others have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in the locker room incident, while other charges have been dropped, and two players — not including Laskowski — are still going through the court system over the bus incident.)
I’ll save you the slog through a six-page story on The Indianapolis Star’s website to get to the meat (on page six):
When the Laskowskis finally decided to speak, they lashed out at the media and the school and the accuser. They said their son is the real victim. The school took one student’s word against their son’s. His accuser — whose family plans a $2.25 million lawsuit against the school district — is in it for the money. And the media excess was motivated by greed.
My response: boo fucking hoo.
I’ll give the Laskowskis that having stalkers (including one person arrested for doing so) posting “a sex offender lives here” signs on their lawn and following them through the streets of Carmel was way over the top, and I don’t blame the family for moving 65 miles south to Bloomington to get away from it.
But, for Christ’s sake, when you have a victim who is reported to have had various objects shoved up his anus, you don’t go around proclaiming yourself or your golden boy as “the real victim.” There is no way to come out of that unscathed.
The story dwells on all the information that wasn’t released because of laws governing school privacy and grand-jury testimony. (It’s nice to see that the Laskowskis and those sympathetic with the victim can agree on one thing — that the school totally mishandled the situation.) But it doesn’t shed a lot of light on what Laskowski did or saw.
His guilty plea came for, as he put it, holding the ankles of a victim attacked in the locker room, and he denies doing anything on the bus. OK, we’ll take him at his word. So what did Laskowski see on the infamous bus ride? Did he see something happen? Are the others guilty? Is the victim making this up? In six pages, either Scott Laskowski wasn’t asked, or the interview was conditioned on the reporter not asking. Or, given the Laskowski family’s self-absorption, at least as it came across in the story, nobody knows or cares.
Now if I found out my son was messing with a dead squirrel, once I was assured he wasn’t having sex with it, I would bring him to the doctor for whatever shots you get for messing with a dead squirrel. However, I would be a bit shocked if messing with a dead squirrel led to his dismissal from his favorite extracurricular activity (that didn’t involve messing with a dead squirrel).
North Branch (Mich.) Middle School, however, countenances no messing with a dead squirrel. From NBC25 in Clio, Mich. (outside of Flint, if you must know):
It all started last week. Fourteen year old Gabe Wells says he and his teammates were walking back to the school building after football practice. He saw a dead squirrel in the parking lot that he says had been there for some time.
“I told my coach, ‘Hey, my mom made you dinner,’” says Gabe.
He says his coach laughed and continued on his way. Gabe says he and his team mates kept joking.
Gabe says he saw a Subway bag, tied it around the coach’s “dinner”, then used it to tie the squirrel to a nearby tree. He then picked a cigarette butt up off the ground and put it in the squirrel’s mouth, saying, “That is what happens when you smoke, you die.”
That night he even made a post on facebook about it, telling facebook friends he wanted to send the message out, don’t smoke. He even picked on his father for being a smoker.
The next day Gabe says he got a surprise, when the principal called him down to the office. He says he spent most of the there, missing class and lunch, after being told he was in trouble for his incident with the squirrel.
The principal accused Gabe of gross misconduct, no pun intended. Gabe’s mother told NBC25 that she was told her son could be suspended from the team for this year, and next year, be suspended from school, and charged with animal abuse. You’d think Gabe had had sex with a live squirrel, for all the outrage. Does PETA protest for abuses to animals previously killed by natural causes and/or when they were run over in the parking lot?
Gabe’s parents knew what to do: alert the media. Gabe’s father dialed up Clio, Mich., and got NBC25 on the phone, and on the case.
NBC25 called the superintendent’s office. Superintendent Tom English said he knew a dead squirrel had been tied in a tree, an inappropriate incident that other students had to witness, but he was not completely aware of the resulting discipline.
He called back a short time later and said the school had decided all ten students at first believed to be involved would not be in trouble. Only four of them would face consequences for their actions with the squirrel, including Gabe Wells. They would not be suspended or face charges, but they would be missing the last football game of the season.
Justice is served. And so, apparently if Gabe is around, is squirrel.
The New York Knicks’ No. 1 pick, the eighth overall, was Jordan Hill, a junior from Arizona who is the reason why all that money you spend to put your kid in basketball camps is a big, fat waste (if you’re dreaming of an NBA career for your child).
Hill didn’t start playing organized basketball until the ninth grade. And he didn’t play at all his junior year of high school because of academic troubles. He didn’t start on the AAU circuit, where most of the best players to go get noticed, until before his senoir year of high school. And yet Hill got a scholarship offer to a major basketball power, and got picked in the top 10 of the NBA draft.
Clearly, Hill has worked very hard in a very short time to improve his game enough to get noticed by the NBA. Of course, it also helps a bit that he’s 6-foot-10.
Your child is not going to be 6-foot-10.
That’s Jordan Hill, dunking on your dreams for your child.
No matter how many camps you send your child to, no matter how many leagues he dominates, once your child runs into competition that is 6-foot-10, he is sunk unless he is preternaturally talented or is also 6-foot-10. All the more reason to relax when you watch your kid’s games, never to push them to become the NBA players they are never going to be.