Writing a post about an alleged gang rape is pretty much the last thing I wanted to do when Stephen and I started this blog a couple of years ago, but it's definitely *the* story in Razorbackland right now and can't really be avoided. Although I'd prefer to regale you with stories about our interview with Ken Hatfield or my thoughts about all the fun ways the Georgia media will remind us thatis Worse Than Hitler next week, let's talk about what's going on with the basketball team.
First of all, we should all remember that all this is still in the "alleged" phase...innocent until proven guilty, and all that. But, when the phrase "prosecutors decided not to press charges for rape" is the best news of the day, you know things are not going well. And, this latest incident comes on the heels of many, many other previous suspensions and disciplinary problems, so it definitely fits into a pattern of something being seriously rotten in Bud Walton. Where things go from here remains to be seen, but I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this story and I'm sure the end result won't be a pleasant one for Hog fans.
Here's a quick roundup of what's going on, both locally and nationally:
* The official story contains sentences that generally make you want to take a shower: "The fraternity member opened the door, which had been locked, and saw the woman bent over. Two basketball players were on a couch. 'She was giving oral sex to one and masturbating the other,' Roberts said. 'A third one was behind her dancing.' (The police investigative report quotes a witness as saying the third male was 'rubbing against her buttocks with his pelvis'.)"
* Courtney Forston wrote a HILARIOUS tweet (note: heavy sarcasm) about the incident on his Twitter account. Seriously, why do that?
* John Pelphrey issued a statement that he surely didn't actually say and is sufficiently full enough of PR-style language to mean nothing at all. I get that there are legal implications here and choosing one's words carefully is important (somebody should pass that along to Fortson...see above), but I for one would love to see someone in a situation like this actually produce a statement in, you know, actual spoken English.
* Pelphrey, who is currently on the recruiting trail (great timing!) spoke with ESPN's Andy Katz and described it as a "very, very unfortunate situation". (On the plus side, Katz has some very positive words about incoming freshman Marshawn Powell.)
* Also on the national front, CBSSports.com's Greg Parrish and Deadspin.com have each weighed in with their takes. In shocking news, neither are particularly positive about the situation. For example, Deadspin's charming headline was "Arkansas Basketball: Gang Bangs and Rape LOLs on Twitter".
* Speaking of that interview with Katz, Arkansas Sports 360's Chris Bahn is clearly a little peeved that Pelphrey hasn't yet spoken with local media about the incident (he also blew off a charity golf event), calling him "Punxsutawney Pel" and helpfully listing all the disciplinary incidents from the last 13 months (hint: if you need help counting, you'll need to use both fingers and toes.)