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Thursday, March 3, 2011

More woes for Seton Hall hoops

Now let me get this straight here:

A guy from the Brigham Young basketball team named Brandon Davies kicked off his team for having sex with his girlfriend in a school dormitory, but Seton Hall can have another gun-related incident and the guy remains on the their team? Is that a sign of the difference between Mormon morals and standards and Catholic beliefs?

Well, it would be too easy to chalk the Jordan Theodore/gun investigation up as ''same old Seton Hall," but very reliable sources have confided in this reporter as saying that the whole thing is a crock and Theodore never had a gun or never owned a gun.

In case you don't know the details, here goes and it's a doozy. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office received information yesterday from a municipal court judge in South Orange/Maplewood and will determine in the very near future whether Theodore, the standout junior point guard on the Seton Hall basketball team, will have to stand charges that were filed to South Orange police and municipal court recently that allege Theodore and someone else going to the dormitory room of former player Keon Lawrence and threatening Lawrence with a gun.

The person making this claim? None other than Lawrence's mother, who also alleges that Theodore turned the gun on her as well.

Darlene Epps, Lawrence's mother, filed charges against Theodore of aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle and possession of an illegal weapon, in this case, a handgun. She claims that Theodore and two other ''masked men'' showed up at Lawrence's dorm room and threatened him. Epps claims that she rushed to her son's room after hearing of the incident and confronted the three men, at which time, Theodore allegedly jumped into his car and struck Epps with the car.

The whole story was broken Wednesday by reporter Adam Zagoria, who has a long-standing relationship with Theodore.

The incident apparently happened after the Feb. 15 Seton Hall-Villanova game at the Prudential Center, a game that saw Theodore's mother get attacked by Epps' lesbian partner, because the girlfriend of Lawrence's mother was upset that Theodore made comments that Lawrence deserved to get kicked off the Seton Hall basketball team.

The Essex County prosecutor's office spokeswoman, Katherine Carter, told Associated Press that the investigation into the incident was ongoing and that there was a chance that Theodore did bring an unlawful weapon onto campus, but no charges had been officially filed.
School officials stated that the school conducted its own investigation and found "no student was in violation" of school policy.

Lawrence and fellow senior Jamel Jackson were dismissed from the Seton Hall basketball team on Feb. 12 for a violation of team rules "and an ongoing pattern of conduct unbecoming of a representative of Seton Hall athletics," the official release stated.

It has been learned that both Lawrence and Jackson were laughing and joking during a practice session after a tough loss and that was the final straw in coach Kevin Willard's eyes.

Lawrence is the same player who last year was arrested for driving while intoxicated on the Garden State Parkway in Sayreville, driving in the wrong way of oncoming traffic and causing an accident that severely injured a Newark man. Lawrence was suspended for a while because of the accident (which has yet to be judicated), but actually showed up at the first game after the incident wearing a white suit, looking like the Good Humor man.

Lawrence told reporters on media day that he was truly sorry for the accident and wanted to make complete amends.

“I want to put last year so far in the rearview mirror that it can’t be seen,” Lawrence said at Seton Hall media day in November. “I know I came a long way and then had the accident and that changed everything. It affected everything I did. It affected me on the court and I couldn’t play to my top potential. But I want to start this year with a clean slate. We have a new team, a new coach. I don’t want to think about last year at all. I know it’s kind of tough not to think about it, but I don’t want to.”

Lawrence admitted that the accident was definitely a cause for a wake-up call.

“It was definitely a major learning experience for me,” Lawrence said. “I know that you can’t get away with the stuff that I did, because it was going to come back and bite you later. I talk to little kids about the mistakes I made. It was a terrible mistake. I could have taken my life or the lives of others. I wasn’t thinking. I know I did wrong. I thank God I’m getting my second chance here. I know they could have turned their backs on me. I’m going to take full advantage of this chance, because it’s my last go-round. I have to make up for the wrong I did.”

Now, let's recap the entire scenario. Two women get into an altercation over what one kid said to the media. It's a physical confrontation during a game that carries over after the game and sees the Seton Hall player running into the stands to defend his mother against the lesbian girlfriend of the mother of this bastion of brilliance who drove drunk the wrong way on the Parkway and nearly killed someone.

The mother receives a phone call from her son who claims that the player went after her son with a gun, so she gets in her car in the middle of the night, goes to the dorm area where he son was and actually CONFRONTS the player who is allegedly HOLDING A GUN! She then claims that the player actually turned the gun on her, then hit her with his car as he attempted to drive away.

I'm not exactly Ellery Queen here or even Lt. Columbo, but does that story sound just a tad fishy? Gene Roddenberry couldn't create such great science fiction. Would anyone in their right mind go after someone if that person allegedly had a gun? Hell, I'm running faster than Carl Lewis to get away from the gun. And I can't run a lick. Anyone who saw me chasing down a cab in Fort Ree on Sunday after a cab driver pulled away with my cell phone knows that for sure.

And here's the other side: About five people, five good reliable people close to the Seton Hall scene, that I spoke to claim that Theodore has never had a gun, never showed off a gun, but now, all of a sudden, he pops out an automatic on his former teammate because of words that were passed between the two mothers?

In any case, it's just another black eye that the Seton Hall basketball program didn't need. This is a program that saw two former players, Robert "Styx" Mitchell and Kelly Whitney, get arrested for robbery and kidnap charges last year. Both men remain in jail awaiting trial. Lawrence's brushes with the law were already documented. Two current players, Herb Pope and Jeremy Hazell, have been shot in the past. And the former coach, Bobby Gonzalez, got arrested himself for trying to shoplift a man purse.

In my dealings with Theodore, he's been a straight, upfront, decent kid. It seems as if he's been caught up in a pack of lies predicated by the mother of a deposed player who stands to do some jail time himself if he's found guilty of drunken driving and vehicular assault himself. Maybe that's how she learned about the term that she charged Theodore with, because it's hanging over her son's head.

Here's another pearl of wisdom from Lawrence that he offered to reporters on Media Day.

“I think we’ve all turned the page and turned the program around,” Lawrence said. “Everyone is starting with a fresh slate. I know all the things that happened last year turned this team and program into a disaster. But we’re all looking forward. It was definitely a difficult time for all of us. We’re starting fresh. I’m not even looking one game at a time. I’m looking one minute at a time.”

Yeah, right.

Another item on today's sports police blotter. Elijah Dukes, a truly tormented soul who spent some time last summer with the Newark Bears, is being held in a Florida jail today, after his pregnant ex-girlfriend charged Dukes with aggravated battery. Dukes allegedly slapped the pregnant woman in the face.

He was also charged with driving with a revoked driver's license and was wanted on a contempt of court warrant for failure to appear in court on another charge. The woman told Hillsborough County sheriff's officers that she and Dukes were living in motels for days. The two had an argument and Dukes slapped her several times in the face.

Dukes was a high draft pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but his career plummeted when he attacked an umpire during a minor league game in 2008. He was then traded to the Washington Nationals, where he had some success, but was released in April 2010, even though he was projected to be a starting outfielder for the Nats.

He resurfaced last July with the Newark Bears, where he spent less than a month. While blessed with an immense amount of talent, he spent his time in Newark as a surly, angry young man who was last seen walking out of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium with his bags packed walking toward Route 21 after having an argument with Bears' manager Tim Raines.

He never returned to the Bears after that day and this news appears on the wires today. Another case of immense talent going to complete waste.

One last thing for today. Justin Bieber gets a haircut and his barber gets 50K for selling the hair on E-Bay? Just another reason why the people in the Middle East despise Americans.

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