Unsportsmanlike Conduct

College Football's Real-Life Top 25

Like cold and flu season, the College Bowl games are upon us again. So while you gather up the remote control, TV Guide, and tubs and tubs of popcorn, be sure to arm yourself with the facts as well. Luckily, they're collected here in the Real-Life Top 25. No, not rushing yards, fumbles lost, and third-down efficiency. We've got the good stuff. Read on . . .

1. OKLAHOMA (12-0)
Few question the Sooners' place at the top of the polls, but some may question their priorities, especially since OU administrators decided to cancel classes for a day to celebrate their home win over Nebraska. Let's hope freshman offensive lineman Wes Sims kept busy. While still an OU recruit, Sims was given a one-year deferred sentence, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service, and spent a weekend in jail after he and some high school teammates decided to toss water balloons from a highway overpass. One balloon shattered the windshield of a passing automobile. Sims wasn't the only Sooner in trouble. Seven current and former players—Nick Simpson (LB), Jarrail Jackson (WR), Corey Callens (DT), Johnnie Balous (RB), Ontei Jones (S), Michael Thornton (RB), and Anthony Davis (LB)—are being sued by two Oklahoma City men who claim the players attacked them during a campus party in November 1999. The plaintiffs are seeking $10,000 per player in damages. The case is still pending. (Graduation rate, all students: 45%; football players: 35%; black players: 26%)

2. MIAMI (10-1)
Let's hope defensive end Jamaal Green hits as hard on the field as he does in bars. Green was suspended the first two games of the season after he was arrested and charged with aggravated battery in March for reportedly breaking a man's jaw in a fight at a drinking establishment. Green entered a pretrial diversion program, where he made restitution and took anger control classes. Meanwhile, head coach Butch Davis needs to control his envy streak. In November, he complained to the media that his salary (a reported $900,000) "isn't even in the top 30 among college coaches." (Graduation rate, all students: 59%; football players: 46%; black players: 48%)

The Maize and Blue's corporate sponsors certainly get their money's worth.
illustration: Michael Dougan
The Maize and Blue's corporate sponsors certainly get their money's worth.

Last season, shoplifting charges arguably cost FSU wideout Peter Warrick the Heisman Trophy (he pled guilty to a misdemeanor after allegedly paying only $21.40 for more than $400 worth of clothing from a Dillard's department store). 'Noles coach Bobby Bowden said Warrick only "went out and got a discount." Same could be said for current FSU defensive back Derrick Gibson, who was arrested this summer for solicitation after allegedly offering $10 for sex to an undercover police officer. He pled no contest to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 50 hours of community service, $240 in fines, and six months' probation. (Graduation rate, all students: 64%; football players: 59%; black players: 54%)

4. WASHINGTON (10-1)
This season, the Pac-10 champions played as aggressively on the field as they've been behaving off it. Last spring, cornerback Omare Lowe and wide receiver/kick returner Terry Tharps both pled guilty to first-degree trespassing after a being arrested for fighting at a UW frat house in May 1999. Lowe received a deferred sentence on the condition that he perform 80 hours of community service. Tharps received a suspended sentence on the condition that he perform 160 hours of community service (and two years' probation). Defensive end Roger Faagata had already been sentenced to 10 days in jail for two counts of misdemeanor assault in the same matter. In another incident, Coach Rick Neuheisel had to bench then UW senior defensive end Mac Tuiaea for the first half of last year's Holiday Bowl after the player was arrested for driving under the influence. Tuiaea had been on his way home from a team-sponsored dinner party at which alcohol was sold. He pled guilty last May and received a suspended sentence. (Graduation rate, all students: 70%; football players: 56%; black players: 54%)

5. OREGON STATE (10-1)
The Beavers proved as competitive with Pac-10 rivals and conference co-champs Washington in the bad-behavior department as they were in the football standings. Receivers Robert Prescott, Alton "Junior" Adams, and James Newson are all currently facing third-degree assault charges for allegedly beating an OSU senior in July 2000. Each received a three-game suspension, even though, at press time, the charges were still pending (Prescott and Adams had entered not-guilty pleas; Newson has yet to enter a plea). This is arguably a departure for coach Dennis Erickson. During his troubled tenure at the University of Miami, 12 of Erickson's players were arrested in one season (1994) on various charges. He only suspended two of them. (Graduation rate, all students: 60%; football players: 53%; black players: 40%)

Tech is one of more than 30 schools with separate guidelines for athletes and members of the student body at large. The school adopted the policy after 20 Hokie players were arrested from 1995-97. Since then, discipline has been placed in the hands of the AD, who, last spring, suspended defensive end Derrius Monroe indefinitely after he was indicted on cocaine distribution charges. As part of a plea bargain, the charges were dropped and Monroe was placed on two years' probation in exchange for testimony against the distribution ring's alleged leader, former Tech football player Manny Clemente. Weaver allowed Monroe to practice with the team this fall, but his future at the school reportedly remains in doubt. (Graduation rate, all students: 72%; football players: 45%; black players: 45%)

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