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November 14, 2007

The difference between Rules and Laws

Billy Humphrey has been suspended indefinitely from the UGA basketball team due to his arrest yesterday. Apparently, it is a felony to posses a knife with a blade longer than 2 inches on university property in this state. Billy was found in possession of a "butterfly knife" while the cops were searching his room for marijuana. According to the Athens Banner Herald:
Investigators searched the athlete's room Tuesday afternoon, after a janitor found marijuana in a trash bag that apparently came from Humphrey's East Campus Village dorm room, according to a search warrant application. They didn't find any drugs in the room, but they did find the knife in question.
Quinton mentioned all of this earlier today, but the news/details around the drug search is what's new.

I've seen some sentiment on message boards that there is some sort of anger towards the cops or UGA administration over the 2 inch knife rule and how this case is being handled.

Please remember -- Cops don't make laws, and neither do University administrators. Administrators make rules. And when you break a rule, it's not a felony.

Some "well meaning" law makers in our state created a rule regarding "weapons" on university property. I'd wager that a similar rule exists for any state funded educational facility (including elementary and high schools). They had to create some sort of definition for what a "weapon" is, and it's Billy's bad luck that his knife was outside of the parameters of that rule.

But forget all of that for a minute. My issues here are:
    1. Who throws their weed in the garbage? Why not just flush it down the toilet? I'm definitely not a pot smoker, but that seems like a pretty simple fix. I can't help but call Mercer (his roommate) and/or Humphrey dipshits for this.

    2. What sort of janitor complains about finding weed in his garbage? Isn't it in the Janitor Code that you don't talk about what you find in the trash unless it's a severed head? How shabby did the b-ball players treat that janitor to piss him off enough to turn them in for finding weed in the garbage? Did he actually go digging for it? Or did it just stink that much?

    3. Why is it that I'm not shocked that Mike Mercer's room is the one with the problem? I continue to believe that he never plays another minute for this program.
Anyway - The rule that states that no player at UGA can participate in sports with an unresolved felony charge hanging over their heads is a good rule written by (in my opinion) a wise administrator. That's why Billy was suspended.

The problem is the law is harsh, and I'm not sure that a misdemeanor wouldn't make more sense. It is what it is.

That said. If you have enough weed in your garbage that the cops can get a warrant to search your dorm room, then you're not going to get the benefit of the doubt very often.

That's especially true when you make a conscious decision to cover yourself in cheap tattoos and turn yourself into a walking billboard screaming "DEAR SMALL TOWN COPS, PLEASE PROFILE ME!" Also, it doesn't help to hang out with guys that have warrants out for their arrest while the cops are searching your room. Have some common sense guys. I mean seriously.

This basketball season continues to spiral out of control towards catastrophe, and we're not even in December yet.



JasonC said...

Maybe he was really concerned about the drought and didn't want to waste the water. Just a thought?

Seriously, I am waiting for the day when athletes have to have professional baby-sitters to monitor (and think) for them so they stay out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

But guess what PWD...they won tonight. Without Billy, Mercer, TK, Jackson, etc. It's not the freshmen's fault, it's not Bliss or Singleton's fault, it's not Gaines' fault, or Corey Butler's fault. Don't downgrade the team because of the actions of an ignorant few. This season is FAR from over.

These freshman are better than you and I think. This team is going to be ok. And, like Knowshown with TB's injury, maybe the extra PT for the freshman is a blessing in disguise.

Anonymous said...

Agree anon. It seems to be a few select guys, not a systemic problem.

Granted, it's frustrating as hell because it's just the latest in a horribly long line of crap the bball program has been through.

At least the freshmen have played well in limited action so far. 3 of them finished with 10+ points tonight and Zac Swansey looks like the real deal at PG.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

You don't throw pot in the trash or flush it down the toilet. You bake it into brownies. Christ, Mercer, you can't navigate your way around a box of Duncan Hines?!?

I weep for the state of today's youth.

Anonymous said...

Not systemic?

Dude - We've lost our starting Power Forward for the year. Mercer's in limbo for every coming back, and if he does he's missing a minimum of half the season.

And now, our starting shooting guard is suspended indefinitely, and you don't think it's systemic?

Seriously? How many starters do we have to lose before it's not an isolated problem?

Jmac said...

I'm with PWD on this.

And it isn't like this is a problem isolated to one year. This has been going on for a while now, despite the fact that Felton came in here to clean up the program.

Anonymous said...

If Felton's teams sucking the last few years have been because he is "cleaning up the mess made by Jim Harrick," then Felton is failing miserably.

The results speak for themselves. Heck, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it seem that Felton has more players in trouble than Harrick on a regular basis (until the end of Harrick's tenure, of course).

Compare Felton to Richt. Richt has to watch out for over a hundred guys on the football team (walkons included), has a more complicated and demanding job, and is under massive public scrutiny at all times. In contrast, almost no one cares about Georgia basketball (I'm not saying no one cares - I care and you care if you're reading this, but compared to football, we're a small number of people.). Every year there are three or four guys on the football team who get in trouble or who get poached by the ever vigilant UGA cops. It happens at just about every school. The basketball coach, on the other hand, has about fifteen guys to keep track of, and yet, we are losing them left and right. To say the problem is not systemic is to ignore the facts as pointed out by Westerdawg.

Felton strikes me as an inflexible person. His offensive schemes clearly have not worked with the players we have had available, yet he continues on with them. Obviously, he has recruited players who are unwilling/unable to fit themselves into his schemes and his "way of life" for the team. This did not end when "Harrick's players" were purged by Felton early on. This is happening with guys Felton recruited. Therefore, it is Felton's fault. He is the one that gets paid the big bucks. Is it fair that Felton is held responsible for the actions of children pretending to be men? Yes it is. It's fair because every head coach in America is responsible for the morons on his team just as he is heralded for landing the big recruit. It's like any real job in real life - if the people that work for you constantly screw up, eventually you are going to pay if you're the boss. Felton is the boss and he is not getting the job done. Part of Felton's job is to keep them eligible.

Georgia can do better and should make every attempt to do so. For too long the basketball program has taken a back seat to football. As has been chronicled on this blog over time, Georgia has massive amounts of high school talent that travels far, far away to play ball instead of coming to UGA. We should have a coach that is capable of turning that home state talent into a championship caliber team, year in and year out. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Felton is that coach.

Anonymous said...

LOL, comment removed. Seriously?? Whatever. The cops around here are ridiculous and everyone knows it. Again, ever heard of A WARNING? Forget this particular incident for a moment... what about all the scooter stuff, or the Blake Barnes thing, or the poor kid on the baseball team not getting to go to Omaha the other year for taking an ESPN sign from Foley??? It's stuff like that, probably wouldn't happen on 99% of other college campuses across America. You can be an overzealous cop apologist all you like, but a lot of the cops around here from UGA to ACCPD are MORONS and if you still lived here you'd know that. As for the tattoo comment, well... that move is just as lame as the tone of the article so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Wanna go ahead and label all basketball players thugs while you're at it?! And oh yeah, one more thing... have you taken a look at our football team lately?? Guess they all deserve to have their rooms searched too, because if there are two things that need to be profiled around here, lord knows we've GOT to put a stop to the out of control Weed and 3 inch blade knife epidemics!! And the combo?!?! OMG... DEADLY I TELL YA!!!

Anonymous said...

i deleted what you wrote b/c it had the N word. I don't post the N word, MF or GD. I think you had several of those.

I'm not an apologist for the cops. Read this blog for a while. You'd see that. It's quite the opposite actually.

But at some point, you have to stop drawing attention to yourself when you're doing things you shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I always thought UGA cops were a bit like a kid with his first Mr. Science Chemistry Set. You experiment and take certain liberties with the chemicals they provide you because, well, they're not going to give you anything that will really blow up. Cops know that they can practice their trade on students, often resorting to dragging someone in on the most dubious infraction.

They are cops-in-training. Often, the students, or student athletes, are their unwilling subjects.

Anonymous said...

Right, because the popular joke phrase *N---A PLEASE* is soo terribly offensive and all. It's not like I called a player the REAL N-word or something, so come off it... I'm betting the rest of the post had far more to do with deletion than the first two joking words. Which was the ONLY thing even remotely like that, definitely no MF's or GD's so I don't know what the hell you're talking about there.

And even if they did find that in the trash, who's to say it was his? Isn't it almost a good thing that it's in the trash and not in the air as a 'smell' as people walk by? The tattoo comment is still TOTALLY lame as are the cops in all the cases mentioned. No warnings, no looking the other way for near harmless, typical college stuff or gasp, SCOOTER issues... they went in there hell bent on busting him for something and now they're smearing his name and ruining his reputation because somebody supposedly found some pot in the trash and he had the same type knife you'd find in probably 80+% of dormrooms if you wanted to? But I guess Billy deserved all this because he has tattoos... god I hope nobody ever suspects anything with our entire WR corp or Defense on the football team, those out of control "thugs" probably listen to rap music and have 3 inch knives in their room too. I'm betting some of them might have even smoked weed before, tragic, I know. What is the world coming to...

Anonymous said...

Year after year, the basketball team continues to be an embarassment to the university. The entire program should be shut down.

Anonymous said...

Dude - if you don't like getting deleted, then get your own blog at

Anonymous said...

The Georgia basketball program is in such a Catch 22 situation. We can't seem to get a lot of the great player/great student/great guy players, they go to basketball schools (Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Kansas, etc.) So in order to compete, we take talented players that are sketchy in the student/good guy category. This is the way it has been for years, you can go back to players like Elmore Spencer and Cedric Henderson under Durham, Tony Cole and others with Harrick, and now Felton's problem children. I can't remember any problems with Jersa, but he didn't win and compete. Tubby won and seemed to keep people out of trouble, then got cherry picked by Kentucky. What can we do?

Anonymous said...


I just want a freakin' basketball team worth cheering for!!

(Ok..I would settle for free weed in the garbage can or some of doug's brownies)

Anonymous said...

Mid-80's Dawg makes a great point. I advise you to look at the "Rivals 100" list of top basketball recruits for 2009. The amount of basketball talent in this state (and in metro Atlanta in particular) is just obscene. Something like 12-13 out of the top 100 for 2009 are from Georgia.

This is the dilemma the Dukes and SMU's of the world face in football. It's hard to break that cycle. I'm getting more and more convinced of Paul's idea that Felton has done a decent job of stabilizing the freefall, but is unable to get us over the hump. If Felton can keep the wheels on the cart this season, he will earn my immense respect.

I'm still reserving judgment on this season. But as hank points out, he's got to be accountable at some point, right? I mean, if I'm the CEO of the company and one guy gets drunk in the airport lounge and misses his flight to make a big presentation, I have someone fire him and no one blames me. But what happens when the 3rd, 4th or 5th guy screws up? When do I as the boss become responsible for creating/fostering the environment that allows that to happen?

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