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Update on Griffin, Taylor investigation

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On Saturday, a lawyer representing Longhorns football starters Cedric Griffin and Ramonce Taylor provided more details about an incident last weekend on Sixth Street that has prompted a police investigation into whether the players assaulted a man and demanded money.

Lawyer Ken Oden said that according to his clients, the two players were walking along Sixth Street when they crossed paths with another group of men. Police are investigating whether Griffin or Taylor struck one of the members of the second group during the 3 a.m. encounter and whether one or both of them demanded $5, Oden said.

"There was an exchange, a very brief exchange, between Cedric and one of those folks," he said. "The focus is whether the verbal exchange was threatening and was there any physical exchange along the way."

He characterized Taylor as only a small part of the investigation and said that both players are cooperating with police, with whom Oden met Saturday afternoon.

Authorities on Saturday said they will not release the name of the alleged victims because they could be the subject of retaliation.

UT Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds has said that his department has uncovered no reason to take action against any of the players.

The incident is one of two that authorities said Friday they are investigating involving UT athletes. Without specifying the location, suspects or witnesses, Austin police said the other incident occurred at 3:05 a.m. on Sept. 4 and involved an assault in which an automatic handgun was used.

Oden said Saturday that his clients were not involved in the Sept. 4 incident.

"Connecting these boys to anything back in September is very unfair and untrue," he said.

Oden said he is unsure why his clients may have been linked to that assault.

Police have not arrested or charged anyone in either investigation.

Worst case scenario: Cedric Griffin and Ramonce Taylor are formally charged with felonies and are suspended for the Rose Bowl.

Likelihood: From everything we're reading right now, this doesn't seem likely at all. It sounds like there were some heated words, maybe some pushing and shoving, maybe even a punch or two thrown. A felony charge seems highly unlikely at this point. Mack Brown is not one to taint his program, so if the incident is serious, he won't hesitate to suspend Griffin, Taylor, or both. At this point, though, with the investigation still ongoing, it's not looking terribly serious.

Best Case Scenario: No charges are filed, the case is closed, and the matter buried.

Likelihood: Where there's smoke, there's fire, so there has to be SOMETHING going on here. While it doesn't look like anything near the worst case scenario, it won't be shocking if one or both players winds up suspended for the Rose Bowl. Still, the more and more details that emerge, the better and better things are looking. While there may have been some inappropriate conduct (read: fighting), it's not looking like something more serious than your typical 6th Street altercation. We'll see how Mack handles this. Lest the USC trolls start preaching about "thugs" at UT, let me only remind them of this thugtastic incident and Pete Carroll's non-response.

--PB--