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Another Horn on the Police Blotter

Bumped from the diaries. --PB--

From The Statesman:

Longhorn football player James Henry has been arrested on a pair of third-degree felony charges. He is accused of retaliating against victims who turned in a teammate for an alleged robbery.

Henry, a redshirt freshman who has played on special teams this season, is charged with "obstruction or retaliation" and "tampering or fabricating physical evidence." Combined, bail is set at $30,000. Henry was booked into jail at 3:59 p.m. Monday.

In their arrest affidavit, Austin police accuse the 19-year-old Henry of retaliating on behalf of teammate Robert Joseph, who was arrested July 27 on aggravated robbery charges. Joseph and teammate Andre Jones were charged with breaking in to a Southeast Austin apartment and robbing several people in the apartment.

Police say that Joseph called Henry the next day from jail, and their conversation was recorded. In that call, police say, Henry told Joseph that he’d gone to the scene of the robbery and confronted witnesses. "I went over there and whooped all them niggas last night, fool," Henry is quoted as saying in the recording, according to the arrest affidavit.

When police interviewed Henry and confronted him about the conversation, he admitted that he’d confronted the victims and gotten into a fight with them, the affidavit says.

Looks like Mack has a serious problem, as this incident makes 8 problems in the last 4 months.

I think Mack needs to instill a little Joe Pa team punishment.  It always worked when I was in the ARMY.


This comment from MorningsideHorns deserves front page attention.  --PB--

Coaching Failure

The charges against Henry are serious – 3rd degree felony under sect. 36.06 of the TPC for the "obstruction or retaliation" charge.  Perhaps the substance of his intentions was laudable – helping out a teammate.  Of course, he more than negated any noble purpose through its Machiavellian and illegal execution.  Further, the best time to help teammates is before the arrest, when criminal trends can be identified and neutered.  Prevention is also the job of the coaches.  

My aphorismic summary has shifted from "boys will be boys" to "starts at the top."  The strongest indication of a coaching mismanagement is not the long and accelerating litany of charges, but the fact that early minor charges against one team member "compounded" into far more serious charges for other team members.  Because the coaches and team did not properly handle the relatively minor charges, they guaranteed more serious subsequent charges.  For example, the baffling first arrest of Joseph initiated a chain of events that culminated (I certainly hope that the team justifies the connotation of finality in this verb) in his second arrest, the arrest of Andre Jones, and now (according to radio news reports and ESPN) the arrest of Henry.  Also, Gatewood’s charges both involved stupid activities while in the car with other team members.  

How did the coaches fail?
In terms of failures to specifically instruct the players:  After the first Joseph arrest, or perhaps even before the arrest when his problems began to surface, the older team members and the coaches should have met with the team to strongly instruct that the players 1) act lawfully at all times and 2) refrain from spending time with Joseph in any activity or at any time that could lead to criminal activity.  After the Jones arrest, the coaches certainly should have expected that the police and prosecutor’s office would be contacting other players to investigate alibis and corroborate information.  The coaches should have called in a legal expert, perhaps pulling from the generous and willing supply at the law school down the street, to explain to the players the importance of the criminal processes at work and the severe consequences of impairing those processes in any way.

In terms of failures to generally guide the players:  There seems to be a strong correlation between respect for the law on the one hand and respect for oneself, family, team, and society on the other.  Unsurprisingly, the lackadaisical play on the field - with difficulty finishing plays, sustaining intensity, and responding to adversity - parallels the string of arrests of UT players.  Here is where collective punishments work even when stern verbal guidance has failed.  Consider Penn State’s recent success and rankings climb in a sparkling-clean stadium.  Instead, Mack Brown has publicly excused the team, apologized for the severity of the penalties imposed, and chastised the media for reporting on their coaching malfeasance.

As frustrating as the game-day scheming has been, the lack of disciplinary guidance is even more serious.