I know that I'm a little bit late on this (it happened almost a week ago), but I thought it was something I should touch on.
Last Saturday, WSU defensive lineman Andy Roof (a graduate of East Valley High School in Spokane) was arrested for assault at a late night party in Pullman. According to reports, Roof allegedly head-butted a guy when he wouldn't let him into a private party; punched another guy unprovoked; then slammed another person's head into a stop sign.
The police report (published in the Daily Activity Log on the Pullman Police Department website) shows that several police officers, the fire department, and EMS were called to the scene. They arrested Roof (who, according to several people at the party, appeared to be under the influence of alcohol) and booked him on suspicion of fourth-degree assault (a misdemeanor).
Here's the real problem with the situation: Roof "appeared to be under the influence of alcohol."
Roof did not play last year because he broke Wazzu's (not the team's, but the school's) "three-strike" alcohol policy (the last offense was a DUI). In an article written by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Jim Moore on April 4th (a little more than three weeks before the incident), Roof described how he had gone through rehab and hadn't even sipped a drink in 10 months:
"There comes a point where the consequences outweigh the fun," Roof said. "It was time to grow up.
"I had some stressful times after I got the DUI, but I knew something needed to be done. I wasn't drinking responsibly, and I knew I was better off to stop drinking (completely)."
I asked members of the WSU Sports Information Department about the status of Xavier Hicks (he was still facing charges after he put rubbing alcohol in his roommates contact case) and Roof at the start of spring practice. They told me that Paul Wulff was going to give them a clean slate, because those incidents/problems happened before he arrived on campus. This incident though...he has to deal with.
Bill Stevens, the head of the SID office, told several members of the media that the coaches are gathering more information before deciding any penalties. It might not be up to them. The school will also review the incident...there's a possibility Roof could be expelled. The courts might also have something to say about this (there's a chance the charges could become a felony, because it sounds like one of the victims has broken bones).
It's hard for me to judge what the team should do. I'm sure my college experience was different than a lot of people, but I heard or saw similar "fights" like this happen quite a bit (not as dramatic as slamming someone's head into a stop sign...and not trying to justify it). If Roof really has a drinking problem, then the school should look out for his best interest and get him away from WSU (the "college atmosphere" obviously does not help his cause). If he can stay clean (which he did for ten months), then I always believe in a second (third, fourth, or fifth) chance.
I just hope the kid gets his "stuff" figured out, stays out of trouble, and graduates school (even if that means he never steps on a football field again).
P.S. On a lighter note: Former Cougar running back Rueben Mayes was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame today. Here is the official release from Washington State University:
PULLMAN, Wash. - Former Washington State record-setting All-America running back Rueben Mayes has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation announced Thursday.
"I am completely humbled to have been selected for this prestigious honor and represent Washington State," Mayes said. "It means to a lot to me and my family. My wife of 20-plus years, whom I met at Washington State, and my two sons Logan and Kellen, were very excited about the award."
Joining Mayes in the Class of 2008 are quarterback Troy Aikman (UCLA, 1987-88), running back Billy Cannon (LSU, 1957-59), offensive tackle Jim Dombrowski (Virginia, 1982-85), linebacker Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern 1994-96), linebacker Wilber Marshall (Florida, 1980-83), offensive guard Randall McDaniel (Arizona State, 1984-87), quarterback Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1984-87), tight end Jay Novacek (Wyoming, 1982-84), split end Dave Parks (Texas Tech, 1961-63), nose guard Ron Simmons (Florida State, 1977-80), running back Thurman Thomas (Oklahoma State, 1984-87), and quarterback Arnold Tucker (Army, 1944-46).
Additionally, two coaches were named to the induction class, John Cooper, who amassed a career record of 192-84-6 at Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State; and Lou Holtz, who boasts a career record of 249-132-7 while coaching at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina.
Mayes is the first Cougar player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since tackle Glen "Turk" Edwards (1929-31) was enshrined in 1975, and the third player overall. Center Mel Hein (1928-30) was the first Cougar to be inducted in 1954.
He also joins head coaches Orin "Babe" Hollingbery (1979) and Forest "Evy" Evashevski (2000), giving WSU five individuals in the Hall of Fame. Hollingbery coached WSU from 1926-42, while Evashevski coached the Cougars from 1950-51.
"This school means a lot to me for not only my athletic career, but also my professional career," said Mayes. "A lot of people helped me along the way, from high school and collegiate coaches to mentors at a number of different levels."
Mayes led the Pacific-10 Conference in rushing as both a junior and a senior, garnering league player of the year honors following each season. He completed his career as the Cougars' all-time leading rusher and ranked sixth on the conference career rushing list with 3,519 yards. He was the first Cougar running back to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and held WSU's single-season rushing mark of 1,637 yards for more than 20 years until Jerome Harrison eclipsed that mark in 2005.
"One of my fondest memories at Washington State was beating the Huskies in the Apple Cup my senior year," Mayes said. "The culmination of my final game as a collegiate athlete and the history behind the game made for a memorable experience. It was also really cold, I will never forget that."
As a junior Mayes set WSU, Pac-10 and NCAA Division I records with 357 rushing yards against Oregon. He also had 216 yards against Stanford the previous week, setting WSU, Pac-10 and NCAA records for rushing yards in consecutive games (573 yards).
"The Stanford game really ignited our team," said Mayes. "I had been injured the year before, and I worked really hard heading into my junior season. We had a great game as a team against Stanford, and against Oregon we had to run the ball because it was so wet. We ran the draw a ton and we kept getting yards. I didn't realize how many yards I had until the end of the game."
Drafted by New Orleans in the third round of the 1986 draft, Mayes was named the NFL Rookie of the Year after rushing for 1,353 yards in his first year with the Saints. He played with New Orleans through the 1991 season, earning selections to the Pro Bowl in 1986 and 1987. After playing five years with the Saints, Mayes played two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before retiring. His professional totals included 866 carries for 3,484 yards and 23 touchdowns in seven seasons.
Mayes was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
P.S.S. The WSU baseball team takes on two-time defending national champion Oregon State this weekend. They play Saturday (5:30pm), Sunday (2pm), and Monday (12pm). Last year, Wazzu stole two out of three from the Beavers.