Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal - Operation Sports Forums

Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

This is a discussion on Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal within the College Football forums.

Go Back   Operation Sports Forums > Football > College Football
Thread Tools
Old 01-28-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
Go Cougs!
WazzuRC's Arena
OVR: 26
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,968
Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

Now, as much as I hate the Huskies...this stuff is pretty unbelievable. I'll post the first two articles and you guys really should read them all to a get a grasp on what UW and the city of Seattle took part in in 2000. I would venture to say that a lot of programs around the country have similar coverups like this but its pretty shocking stuff.

Just a bit of background information. King County's (where UW and Seattle are) lead prosecutor was a longtime UW supporter. He is the main guy behind all these coverups. He recently died so his sealed files are finally starting to become uncovered.

Also, the lead investigative journalist behind this is considered one of the best in the country. He's won numerous awards from the New York Post and Chicago Tribune, taught at both Princeton and Harvard, and has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist 3 times. He knows his ****.


Here's a quick overview (courtesy of Seattle Times):

These are trying times for fans of the University of Washington football team.

Once a national power, the Huskies now routinely lose more games than they win. The athletic director, Todd Turner, was forced out last month, and many fans want coach Tyrone Willingham fired. One prominent booster, the former mayor of Everett, recently offered a $100,000 donation for the coach's ouster.

Husky faithful look back wistfully to their last great team: the 2000 squad, winners of the Rose Bowl, owners of an 11-1 record, ranked No. 3 in the nation.

"A mystical, magical season," one sportswriter called it at the time. What happened on the field in 2000 may have been magical. But what happened off it was not.

An unprecedented look behind the scenes — based largely on documents unavailable at the time — reveals a disturbing level of criminal conduct and hooliganism by the players on that team.

Former coach Rick Neuheisel and athletic director Barbara Hedges accepted most of it, demanding little discipline or accountability from their athletes. And other community institutions, including prosecutors, police, judges and the media, went along.

Beyond the roses, that was the legacy of the Neuheisel-Hedges era — and the ruins Willingham and Turner inherited in 2004.

When that Rose Bowl season began on Sept. 2, 2000, against the University of Idaho, the UW's starters included:

• A safety who, according to police reports, had cut his wife's face, broken her arm and broken her nose. He had already served time for choking her into unconsciousness. While playing in front of 70,000 fans on Montlake that day, he was wanted on an outstanding warrant.

• A linebacker under investigation for robbing and shooting a drug dealer. He had left behind a fingerprint stained with his blood. By the season opener, police knew the print was his — but they didn't charge him until the season was over.

• A tight end under investigation on suspicion of rape.

At least a dozen members of the Rose Bowl team were arrested that year or charged with a crime that carried possible jail time. At least a dozen others on that team got in trouble with the law in other seasons.


On the occasions that Neuheisel did take disciplinary action, his message was muddled.

When a star player made headlines for crashing his pickup into a retirement home and fleeing, Neuheisel suspended him — for half a game. When another player was late to a team meeting, the coach suspended him — for a full game. Then, after the game, Neuheisel said: "We decided we'd put him in if it was necessary. We decided it wasn't necessary."

Legal authorities weren't much tougher on Husky outlaws.

When one player was sentenced to 30 days in jail, the judge wrote in her order: "To be served after football season."

Another Husky, facing a felony charge of assaulting a police officer, was released without bail and granted a delay so that he could keep playing.

Yet another player in trouble was allowed to perform 150 hours of community service at football camps.

Hedges, who recruited Neuheisel without asking around, stood by him even as he violated recruiting rules and his players broke the law. She wrote in his 2000 evaluation that Neuheisel "represents the university in an exceptional manner. ... He is a role model in every sense of the word."

Neuheisel declined to comment for this story. Hedges did not return phone calls.

Turner says when he became athletic director 3 years ago, he found "the level of accountability was not high."

Players "were confused about their direction, their leadership, the expectations people had of them," he said. "They were confused about their responsibilities."

When Turner awarded a five-year contract to Willingham in December 2004, he hoped his new coach, who had a reputation for integrity, could mend the damage done. A check of court documents shows the Huskies are clearly in less trouble off the field. But Willingham's 11-25 record has some fans calling for his job. As one wrote on this seattletimes.com poll: "Nice guy Ty but in over his head. Nice guys finish last. UW deserves better."

When Turner resigned in December, he lamented how the average fan cares only about wins and losses. "Have I been naive all this period of time? Have I spent all my time working on the student-athlete experience and trying to create better lives for people and our proper place in education, when all I should have been worried about was how many games we won?"

Less than three weeks later, UCLA hired Neuheisel to be its head coach. UCLA's athletic director, Dan Guerrero, said the school was concerned about Neuheisel's history of NCAA violations but figured that was in his past. More relevant was Neuheisel's 66-30 record.

"In the end," Guerrero said, "it was all about 66 collegiate wins."

Last edited by WazzuRC; 01-28-2008 at 04:23 PM.
WazzuRC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisements - Register to remove
Old 01-28-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
Go Cougs!
WazzuRC's Arena
OVR: 26
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,968
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

F Jerramy Stevens....

Courtesy of the Seattle Times
Rick Neuheisel, head coach of the University of Washington's football team, was playing golf when a cart came rolling up and someone handed him a phone.

The UW's sports-information director was on the other end: One of the team's best players had just been arrested, on suspicion of rape.

Before 7 that morning Thursday, July 27, 2000 Seattle police detectives, accompanied by a SWAT team, had served a search warrant at the home of Jerramy Stevens and taken him away.

The UW football team was used to run-ins with the law. It even had a system, of sorts, for dealing with them. Randy Hart, the defensive-line coach, had police contacts who would tell him when players were in trouble. Other coaches had names of attorneys players could contact.

One lawyer stood out: Mike Hunsinger, a UW alumnus and longtime fan. In time, Hunsinger would represent at least 14 members of the 2000 football team players accused of hit-and-run, animal cruelty, punching a security guard, DUI, taking part in an attack on a fraternity, sexual assault, punching windows out of cars, domestic violence, assaulting a parking attendant. He'd charge the players a few hundred bucks and let them pay over time.

Neuheisel got in touch with Barbara Hedges, the university's athletic director, to see what she wanted to do.

At 1:30 p.m., less than seven hours after Stevens' arrest, a fax arrived at the Seattle Police Department's sexual-assault unit. It was addressed to Maryann Parker, the lead detective, who had been investigating the case for seven weeks.

The fax came from Hunsinger's office. We're representing Jerramy Stevens, the message said. Please call us immediately.

The month before, just after 3 a.m. on June 4, a UW student called 911 to report a possible rape in progress.

Walking back to his dorm, he'd passed a row of fraternities and sororities and seen two people against a building. A woman, wearing only a bra and maybe underwear, leaned against a wall, arms to her side. A tall man faced her, his back to the passer-by.

The situation didn't look right, the student told police. The woman looked right at him but did nothing to cover up. She looked drugged or drunk: "Half passed out ... eyes glazed ... no one home."

"The male was controlling things," the witness said. "It wasn't a two-person interlude."

When the man turned and caught sight of the passer-by, he moved the woman behind a bush.

Seattle police responded but couldn't find the two.

Nine hours later, around noon, a 19-year-old freshman woke up at the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She had a headache, stomach pain, sore ribs, scratched legs. She could barely move. Her bra and tube top were around her waist and covered in dirt. Her underwear was missing.

"What happened to me?" she asked her roommate.

About the same time, Jerramy Stevens emerged from his room. He lived with several teammates in a house north of campus. He pulled a pair of women's underpants out of his jeans pocket and, according to a police report, told a roommate, "Look what I have."

Stevens said he'd had sex with the freshman, whose middle name was Marie. "No way," the roommate said. He couldn't believe it, because he had heard Marie was a virgin.

Stevens' story made the rounds. A friend of Marie's heard one football player ask another: Did you hear that Jerramy had sex with Marie in the dirt outside a fraternity?

Meanwhile, Marie and her friends tried to figure out what had happened. Inside Marie's room, a friend saw a fleece jacket that Stevens wore the night before. The jacket, covered in dirt, appeared to be stained with blood.

Marie couldn't remember how she got home, she later told police. She'd had three beers over dinner before going to a fraternity party, and two more drinks while there. Stevens, a friend, had been at the party, too. The last beer Marie remembered being handed had already been opened. After that, she remembered next to nothing.

She stayed in bed most of the day. Her friends searched for her underwear outside the sorority and in an alley, but returned empty-handed.

That afternoon, word of what was being said at Stevens' house got back to Marie. Her eyes "got huge," a friend said later. "She had [a] look of complete horror on her face."

Marie worried she may have been sexually assaulted. She worried about pregnancy and disease. Should I get a morning-after pill? she asked one friend.

About 9:30 that night, Marie got Stevens on the phone, she later recounted to police. What happened? she asked. Stevens told Marie he'd walked her home. "We kissed and some stuff," he told her. Did we have sex? she asked. "No," he told her. "Don't trip, it's nothing, don't worry about it."

Marie, crying, asked: Then why are you telling your friends we did? He denied saying that to anyone.

Afterward, Stevens told a roommate about this conversation. The roommate told Stevens: You have to call her back. You have to let her know you had sex. You at least owe her that.

Late that night, Marie went to the university hospital, across the street from Husky Stadium. She got a shot for nausea and was directed to Harborview Medical Center for a sexual-assault exam.

Marie's parents went with her. The medical staff found semen in her vagina and rectum, and a doctor told Marie that her **** had been lacerated.

The semen was placed in a rape kit, for testing.

On June 6, the case landed on the desk of Maryann Parker, a 14-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department.

She interviewed Marie, who suspected she'd been slipped a date-rape drug. Investigators couldn't say. Too much time had elapsed before Marie's blood was drawn for testing.

Parker interviewed people who had been at the fraternity party. They said Marie's condition changed suddenly that night. Her speech was slurred. She had trouble standing, leaned against people, and acted drugged: "Out of control."

Marie's friends told Parker they had escorted her from the party. Although the sorority was nearby, Marie was in no shape to walk home alone. Behind the fraternity, a police car pulled up, and an officer asked if Marie was all right. We're just driving her home, Marie's friends answered. On the way, the group saw Stevens in the alley. Marie's friends dropped her off at the sorority but didn't walk her in.

On the morning Stevens was arrested, Parker escorted him to the police station. She asked if he'd be willing to answer questions, but he said no.

His blood was drawn for DNA testing, and he was booked into jail.

This same day, another detective interviewed a defensive lineman who lived with Stevens. The lineman said he didn't believe Stevens committed rape. Why not? the detective asked.

"Well ... he's my best friend," the player said. "I hang out with champions." Stevens, the player said, was "the type of guy where usually when he fools around he ends up having sex cause he's a charming guy, chicks dig him."

Stevens spent that Thursday night in jail.

The next day, about 15 of Stevens' teammates showed up to support him at a scheduled bail hearing. But prosecutors said they needed more time to review the evidence and released Stevens without charges. Some of Stevens' teammates cheered when told the news.

King County's elected prosecutor, Norm Maleng, didn't know beforehand that Stevens was going to be arrested. He and two top deputies Dan Satterberg and Mark Larson were "livid," Parker says.

"They were mad that we had arrested him, because they had to deal with the media fallout," Parker says. "After all, he was going to be a superstar."

That Friday afternoon, a faceoff took place at the prosecutors' offices. Parker said a meeting was called "for me to explain my actions."

Four of her superiors accompanied Parker: an assistant chief, a lieutenant and two sergeants. Six prosecutors attended, including Satterberg and Larson. Satterberg, the office's No. 2, reported straight to Maleng. Larson ran the criminal division.

Satterberg sat across from Parker. Why did you arrest him? she said he asked.

One of Parker's bosses told Satterberg: We don't need your permission to arrest someone. All we need is probable cause.

As part of her investigation, Parker checked into Stevens' background.

Stevens, 6 foot 7, 255 pounds, would be starting his third year at the UW in September. He looked to be perhaps the best tight end in the school's history and the UW was known for great tight ends.

He'd gone to high school in Lacey, in Thurston County. Both his parents were teachers; his mother became an assistant principal.

In the spring of 1998, when he was a senior in high school, Stevens showed up at a prearranged fight in a park. There, his friend hit a 17-year-old, James Hoover, in the head with a baseball bat.

After Hoover collapsed unconscious Stevens jumped up and stomped on his face.

Hoover's jaw was broken. For six weeks, he ate with a straw.

When a sheriff's detective first questioned Stevens, Stevens said he hadn't been involved in the fight. But questioned again the next day, Stevens admitted what he had done.

Why'd you lie before? the detective asked. "I knew I had done something wrong, and I didn't want to get in trouble for it," Stevens answered.

Stevens was charged with felony assault. A judge let him await trial at home, wearing an electronic-monitoring device. Stevens soon tested positive for marijuana, violating the terms of his home confinement. As a result, he spent three weeks in the Thurston County jail.

At the time, Stevens had already accepted a football scholarship to the UW. The felony charge appeared to place his scholarship in jeopardy but three UW coaches wrote the judge, saying the UW's offer was still good. See the letters from Jim Lambright, Randy Hart and Scott Linehan.

Their background checks on Stevens showed "nothing but high marks," wrote Scott Linehan, now head coach of the St. Louis Rams. "We believe this to be an isolated incident. Under our discipline and supervision I believe Jerramy will show this to be true."

Jim Lambright, then the UW's head coach, wrote: "We do believe in Jerramy."

The coaches even asked if Stevens could be released from home confinement to practice with the team before trial. The judge agreed even though Stevens had already violated the court's orders.

Stevens went to football camp, where Lambright told reporters: "We don't give up on a player because he makes one mistake."

But a Thurston County sheriff's captain, in a written report, said Stevens may have "a propensity toward violence."

In high school, the report said, Stevens and another student allegedly punched holes in a classroom wall: "We are told the school learned of the vandalism and quietly permitted payment of the damage." The sheriff's office heard that Stevens violated school rules on alcohol and marijuana; kicked a football teammate in the testicles; and threatened referees in a basketball game after he was ejected for being too aggressive on the court.

With the assault charge pending, supporters of Stevens, including several teachers and a Mormon bishop, wrote to the prosecutor urging leniency. An English teacher described how Stevens once defended a kid with a speech impediment. "He has a gentle side," the teacher wrote.

Stevens negotiated a plea deal for attacking Hoover. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to time served.

At the UW, Stevens talked of putting the assault conviction behind him. "I'm more conscious of the choices I make now because I know there are consequences," he told one reporter.

While investigating Stevens, Parker dug up an e-mail Stevens had sent to one woman he'd slept with at the UW. The e-mail said:

"i know that you are not going to beliewhat i have to say especially after satterday night but when i got your e-mail today i laughed a first but then it started to sink in and my heart started to break as i read over your words.

"i realize that i have [messed] up and I want to talk to you about being with you and how i can make it up to you. this is not a joke i want to have you in my arms and know that you are mine and ythat nothing that i have done or [a friend] has said caould ever change the way that i feel about you. when i think back to the night that i spent with you by ourselves i wish that i would have done one thing and that is, i wish i would have put ... "

Stevens then describes, in explicit terms, an anal-sex act he wanted to do to her. He closes with: "you whore dont ever utter my name again."

Stevens shared this message with a teammate, who called it a "funny *** e-mail." The teammate, when interviewed by a detective, called the woman who received the message "a typical football groupie."

Parker says the e-mail was "very disturbing to read." She placed it in her investigative file and interviewed the woman who received it. The woman broke down in tears.

Soon after Stevens' arrest, Barbara Hedges, the athletic director, told reporters that the UW would conduct its own investigation of Stevens, to see if discipline was warranted.

But the university never did. Instead, Hedges and Neuheisel waited for prosecutors to act. Hedges received updates on the case directly from Satterberg.

In early August, a week after the arrest, police sent the DNA evidence to a Maryland laboratory. Treat this as a rush job, one prosecutor wrote, saying the county would pay extra to get the results fast.

The lab was to compare DNA from the sperm with the DNA from Stevens' blood.

Meanwhile, a deputy prosecutor met with Marie's family. The decision of whether to charge Stevens would be made soon after the lab results were in, he told them.

On Aug. 17, two weeks before the 2000 football season would begin, Parker got the DNA results back. It was a match.

From the get-go, Stevens was crucial to the team's success. The Huskies' top receiver from 1999 was injured. Others were inexperienced. The UW's passing game was a question mark.

Stevens provided an answer.

In September, the UW won its first three games of the season, twice coming from behind. When the Huskies upset No. 4 Miami in the second game, Stevens recorded a career day: seven catches, 89 yards, one touchdown. The next week on Sept. 16 he did even better against Colorado, making seven catches for 102 yards, winning team honors as offensive MVP.

With its 3-0 start, the UW climbed to No. 8 in the national rankings.

On Sept. 21 five weeks after the DNA results came back prosecutors Dan Satterberg and Mark Larson met with police brass to discuss "potential proof problems" with the Stevens case.

They told John Pirak, an assistant police chief, how important it was to interview Stevens, calling his account critical to any charging decision.

The next day, a deputy prosecutor told police an interview had been arranged, according to police reports. But, he said, the prosecutor's "front office" had agreed to certain conditions negotiated by Stevens' attorney, Mike Hunsinger. First, the interview had to be in Hunsinger's office. Second, Parker, the case's lead detective, could not ask questions. Only the prosecutor would be allowed to do that.

Parker protested to her sergeant. It was her case. She knew the evidence best. She didn't want to be cut out of the questioning. Parker's sergeant didn't like the deal, either. But if prosecutors considered the interview so crucial, the sergeant was willing to relent.

But, hours later, the deputy prosecutor told Parker of yet another condition: Maleng's office had agreed to give crucial police evidence the victim and witness statements to Stevens' lawyers before the interview.

The Seattle Police Department's standard operating procedures allowed no such thing. If a suspect enters an interview with police file in hand, he can tailor his story to the facts already gathered. Suspects get to see the evidence after being charged, not before.

Parker called her sergeant at home to alert her. Word went up. The Police Department's legal adviser was brought in. And in late September, Pirak, an assistant chief, told Satterberg and Larson: No deal. Police would not agree to release those statements. No exception would be made for this case.

The legal adviser, Leo Poort, recently said that in 30 years in that job, this is the only case he knows of where a deal like this was offered. Larson said such offers are "not customary," but have been made in "some other cases."

Prosecutors and police never did interview Stevens.

On Oct. 5, Detective Parker submitted the police evidence to prosecutors. Now they had to decide whether to file charges.

On Oct. 19, late at night, Donald Preston was returning home to Olympia after visiting his 6-year-old son, who was being treated in Children's Hospital in Seattle for cancer.

A hard rain falling, Preston drove south on Interstate 5, using the car-pool lane. His 10-year-old daughter sat next to him in the passenger seat.

Ahead, Preston saw an accident, blocking traffic. As Preston slowed, a red Toyota pickup barreled up from behind and tried to swing around him. The truck sideswiped Preston's Dodge Daytona smashing in the driver's side before careening into the retaining wall, damaging its front end. The pickup's driver had been "driving like a maniac," one witness would say later, using the HOV lane as a passing lane.

The pickup's driver was Jerramy Stevens. He got out, leaned against his truck, and called something like, "Is everybody OK?" Then he climbed back into his truck and drove away offering no name, no phone number, no insurance card.

Preston needed to kick his door to get out. His daughter was shaken up but managed to memorize the pickup's license plate.

A state trooper arrived and took down a report. "Unit 1 fled the scene," she wrote. Now she had to find out who the driver of Unit 1 was.

On Oct. 24, 2000, King County's elected prosecutor held a news conference to announce whether rape charges would be filed against Jerramy Stevens.

Norm Maleng looked into a wall of cameras and microphones. Stevens' future was at stake. So, to the mind of many fans, was the UW football team's.

Just three days before, the UW had defeated Cal to go to 6-1 and keep its Rose Bowl hopes alive. Down 11 in the fourth quarter, the Huskies had scored three touchdowns in two minutes. Stevens scored the first, on a 10-yard reception. He caught three passes in the final quarter and was named the game's offensive MVP.

Maleng had faced situations like this before. In 1999, his office had declined to prosecute three football players accused of trashing a fraternity house and assaulting its members. Prosecutors cited "confusing and conflicting statements," and said "identification seemed to be a problem."

After Maleng's office turned down the case, the Seattle City Attorney's Office reviewed the evidence and charged all three players. All three pleaded guilty to misdemeanors. One player, convicted of assault, was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

In 1998, Maleng's office was confronted with three other football players accused of beating a student on campus, with a crowd gathered around. A witness, using Husky Football magazine, identified the suspects. Maleng's office declined to bring charges, citing "some conflicting witness statements."

Now, in the Stevens case, Maleng announced: "We have concluded that there is insufficient evidence."

His office would not be bringing charges.

The memory loss suffered by the accuser complicated the investigation, Maleng said. To prove rape, prosecutors needed to show that Marie had been physically helpless or mentally incapable of consent. The evidence showed neither, Maleng said.

After the announcement, Stevens thanked his teammates for their support. Neuheisel, the head coach, had told Stevens beforehand that a felony charge would mean an indefinite suspension. Now, Neuheisel said, "My general feeling is one of relief."

Parker, the police detective who handled the case, recently said:

"I thought he should have been charged. I think most people in the Police Department thought he should have been charged. From the police perspective, I think there was overwhelming evidence that a crime had occurred. And then I think we should have left it to a jury to decide.

"I think we just felt, in our unit and in the Police Department as a whole, that this case was handled differently. And we felt it was because he was a University of Washington football star."

Larson, the head of the county prosecutor's criminal division, said he believes prosecutors made the right call. "We have no doubt she was pretty drunk that night. Real drunk," he said. But proving helplessness was another matter.

Any suggestion, he said, that Stevens escaped charges because he played football "is outrageous and untrue."

When prosecutors decide not to charge someone, they typically write a "decline" letter to police, explaining their reasons. The decline letter in the Stevens case, labeled "confidential," included some damning language that never made it into Maleng's news conference.

"It seems highly unlikely that the victim would have consented to anal intercourse with the suspect in a fraternity alley," the letter said.

But, the letter added, jurors "could find reasonable doubt."

The case hinged on Marie's mental and physical state and whether she was capable of consenting to sex.

The decline letter says an eyewitness who called 911 to report a possible rape in progress described Marie as "conscious and standing." But, according to police reports, he also described her as "half passed out against a building ... like she was drugged or drunk."

The decline letter says Marie's friends "describe her as standing, making limited conversation, and making decisions." But, according to police reports, her friends described her as "unable to keep her balance," having "slurred speech" and "acting like she was drugged." One friend told police: "She couldn't really talk or stand."

The decline letter says: "None of her friends appeared afraid for her welfare." But, according to police reports, one friend tried to take away her keys. Two others drove her home. Marie's sorority was nearby, but she was unfit to walk, one friend told police.

The prosecutors' decision not to charge Stevens "devastated" Marie, Parker said. She "did not feel supported by the prosecutor's office at all."

On Oct. 25, one day after Maleng announced that Stevens would not be charged with rape, a state trooper wrapped up her investigation of the collision on Interstate 5.

She now knew the driver of Unit 1 was Jerramy Stevens the UW football player who was all over the news.

In Washington, a driver involved in an accident must remain at the scene; provide his name, address and insurance information; and, if someone's hurt, try to help. Failure to do so amounts to hit-and-run. If the accident results in death or injury, fleeing is a felony. If only damage results, it's a gross misdemeanor.

But Stevens wasn't charged with any crime. Instead, the trooper wrote Stevens a ticket. Cited for driving too fast for conditions, Stevens paid a $119 fine.

Donald Preston, the driver of the car that Stevens hit, recently said: "I thought it was pretty typical. If it would have been myself, and I'm not a sports figure, I would have been put in jail."

On Jan. 1, 2001, the UW beat Purdue in the Rose Bowl, 34-24.

"They took their place among the greatest of Washington teams on a blue, balmy, postcard day," The Seattle Times wrote.

Stevens led the Huskies with five catches. Afterward, he ran around the field with a rose in his mouth.

With 43 receptions in all, Stevens had put together the finest season of any tight end in school history. Football News and Gannett News Service named him a second-team All-American.

The Huskies finished the season 11-1 and were ranked No. 3 in the country.

Contributions to the football program jumped from $5.4 million in 2000 to $6.9 million in 2001. Ticket sales jumped from $10.9 million to $11.9 million.

In donations and tickets, the football team made an extra $2.5 million coming off its Rose Bowl year.

There's no telling how much the football team's success drove other donations to the UW ones not earmarked for athletics. University presidents like to talk football while raising money at least they do when the football team is winning.

In 1998 the year before Neuheisel arrived the football team went 6-6 and brought in $23.7 million in ticket sales, donations and other revenue.

Under Neuheisel, the team put together four winning seasons. By the end, its revenue had jumped to $30.9 million a year.

When Neuheisel departed, the team went 6-6 again. Its revenue dipped by $2.3 million.

Four months after the Rose Bowl on May 4, 2001, at a little before 1 a.m. Stevens slammed the red Toyota pickup into the side of a retirement home, knocking a dresser onto a bed where a 92-year-old woman was sleeping.

His truck was stuck, so he used his school textbooks for traction, putting them under the tires. Then he drove off but not before a 72-year-old man took down his license plate.

Stevens lied to police, saying he didn't know who had been driving the truck. Caught in the lie, he apologized. Hunsinger, called at home in the wee hours, agreed to defend Stevens. Neuheisel, in San Diego playing golf, issued a statement saying he'd address the team on the need to make good decisions.

A month later, Stevens pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and received a 90-day jail sentence, suspended on condition that he stay out of trouble. Stevens' parents took the truck's keys away from him. Neuheisel suspended Stevens from the first half of that season's opening game. Stevens said afterward: "It was hard sitting the first half."

Stevens has learned his lesson, Neuheisel said.

Stevens announced in January 2002 that he would go pro, leaving school a year early. The Seattle Seahawks drafted him in the first round. His coaches at the UW vouched for him, said Mike Holmgren, the Seahawks coach.

"People make mistakes," Holmgren told reporters. "I really trust that everything is behind him. ... I think the longer I'm with this decision, I'll just feel better and better about it."

Stevens promised his parents he would still get his degree. And Seahawks media guides say he did. Stevens called graduation the best day of his life, saying: "I graduated from college, got my new Range Rover and moved into my new house. All in the same day."

Stevens did get a new SUV and a top-floor condominium in Bellevue but he left the UW without ever getting a bachelor's degree.

A month after Stevens got his Range Rover, a trooper ticketed him for going 98 mph.

Stevens signed a five-year, $6.2 million contract with the Seahawks that required him to repay $300,000 if he got into trouble. No problem, Stevens said. He blamed his past on alcohol and said he'd quit drinking.

Three months later a trooper pulled Stevens over after he veered into oncoming traffic. Stevens, who had alcohol on his breath, blew a 0.051 below the legal limit of 0.08. He was cited for negligent driving and paid a $490 fine.

In April 2003, a Medina police officer pulled Stevens over. Two open champagne bottles were in Stevens' SUV. Have you been drinking? the officer asked. No, Stevens said.

On field-sobriety tests, Stevens couldn't walk a straight line or keep his balance. His blood-alcohol level was about twice the legal limit. He eventually admitted drinking the champagne and said he'd run a stop sign because he was preoccupied, talking on his cellphone.

Stevens pleaded guilty to reckless driving. His lawyer a specialist in DUI cases told the judge: "I believe that I've come to understand the character of Jerramy Stevens. He is an individual, your honor, who is growing up."

Stevens assured the judge he had no alcohol problem. The judge told Stevens: "If you do what you've always done, you will be what you've always been."

Stevens served seven days in jail five for violating the terms of his hit-and-run sentence, and two for reckless driving.

The NFL ordered Stevens into a substance-abuse program. The Seahawks made him repay $300,000 for violating his contract but allowed him to keep playing.

Stevens' attorney complained that twice-weekly AA meetings ordered by the judge conflicted with Stevens' football schedule. The judge knocked the requirement down to once a week.

In 2003, Marie sued Stevens, the UW and the fraternity, Sigma Chi, where she believed she'd been slipped a date-rape drug.

Three other women also filed lawsuits accusing UW football players of rape. Two sued Roc Alexander, a teammate of Stevens. The other sued Eric Shyne, a player who joined the team just after Stevens left.

Shyne met a woman at a party, where she was so drunk she fell on him and later vomited. She told police that she awoke with a "goobery" fluid in her vaginal area, semen on her panties and a flash of memory Shyne atop her, with her saying, "No, don't, I'm a virgin."

Seattle police wanted Shyne to be charged with rape, but Maleng's office refused, saying there wasn't sufficient evidence of sexual contact. Prosecutors also questioned whether the woman was impaired enough to be incapable of consent.

Only one of Alexander's two accusers had gone to police and police didn't believe the evidence warranted charges.

Mike Hunsinger, Stevens' lawyer from the criminal case, represented him in the civil suit as well. He also defended Alexander. He had also represented Shyne in the criminal investigation.

Becky Roe, a Seattle lawyer and former prosecutor, represented the four women, all UW students. To Roe, her clients' allegations were linked. By failing to hold Stevens accountable, she argued, the UW suggested to players that "they were invulnerable to charges of sexual assault."

In 2004, Roe deposed Rick Neuheisel and Barbara Hedges, the coach and athletic director when Stevens was arrested on suspicion of rape. When prosecutors decided not to charge Stevens, Neuheisel and Hedges agreed that Stevens should not be disciplined.

Neuheisel's test was this: If a player embarrassed himself, his family or the university, he should be punished. This episode embarrassed the UW, Neuheisel said, but "given the prosecution's decision not to go forward, it looked as if Jerramy was not the reason for the embarrassment."

Hedges said the UW could have disciplined Stevens no matter what prosecutors did, but she saw no grounds for that.

Do you understand, Roe asked Hedges, that a decision not to charge someone is not the same thing as declaring the person's innocence?

Hedges said she believed that if someone avoided charges, he had been cleared. "The person has been exonerated," she said.

She had no evidence to suggest Stevens' conduct was "inappropriate," Hedges said. Did you ever review the police reports? Roe asked. "I don't recall," Hedges said.

Roe deposed Jim Lambright, the former coach who brought Stevens to the UW despite an assault charge. Lambright told Roe that Stevens came from a good family and his high-school coach had vouched for him.

Roe also deposed Keith Gilbertson, the UW's new head coach. She asked: "Do you believe that there is a perception among people in the public that [football players] are protected?" Gilbertson said: "I don't know, but it is not true. It's the other way."

In her lawsuit against Stevens and the UW, Marie identified herself by her initials, not her full name. That's not unusual in lawsuits alleging rape or molestation.

But the UW filed a motion in October 2003 demanding that her full name be disclosed in the court file, which would be available to the public. The UW argued that the public has an interest "in knowing all the facts involved"; that transparency is crucial when the defendant is a public entity; that "centuries of law ... forbid secrecy (to any degree) in our judicial proceedings."

A freshman when the incident occurred, Marie had become "extremely depressed" and left the UW soon after. She couldn't face the possibility of seeing Stevens or his friends on campus. She couldn't stomach how the UW had taken no action against him, letting him continue to play football. She attended a community college for five quarters, and returned to the UW after Stevens left.

Now, she couldn't fathom what the UW would gain from making her name public. The university knew her identity. It could dig into her background all it wanted. Her claims would be tried in open court. But she didn't want other students staring at her, whispering about her. She also feared "physical danger" from people upset at what she was alleging.

"I am dismayed that the University of Washington, where I am a student, would so deliberately and needlessly make my life difficult in this manner," Marie wrote.

Two weeks before filing this motion, the UW made the opposite argument in a case in which it paid millions to settle a medical-malpractice claim. The entire file of that lawsuit was sealed, with the UW and other parties extolling the value of privacy.

In the Stevens case, the judge denied the UW's motion to out the plaintiff.

In the spring of 2004, the lawsuit was settled. The agreement was confidential, barring Roe and Marie from disclosing its terms.

But in a letter to the UW's attorney obtained through a public-records request Hunsinger described part of the deal. The agreement allowed the UW to be dismissed from the case, while Stevens and the fraternity would settle.

The deal also allowed Stevens to avoid questions about what happened on that June night four years before.

"One of the elements of the settlement is that Jerramy not be required to participate in any other litigation involving the UW, specifically the lawsuits filed by [Roe] regarding Eric Shyne and Roc Alexander," Hunsinger wrote. "He does not want to be contacted by anyone, let alone deposed, or testify at trial."

A month later, in June 2004, Hunsinger sent Roe a check for $300,000 to settle the case on behalf of Stevens and the fraternity.

Alexander, now in the NFL, settled the claims against him for an undisclosed amount.

Shyne didn't show up to defend himself. A judge reviewed the evidence and ordered him to pay $350,000.

In Bellevue, at Stevens' top-floor condo, neighbors complained of fireworks set off from his deck, of vomit raining down from above, of loud parties deep into the night. They had to go to court in August 2004 to get Stevens, by then a Seahawk, to pay his monthly dues of $420. Police kept getting called out to Stevens' condo, because of noise complaints.

In March 2006, Stevens was caught driving with a suspended license. Prosecutors said they'd forgo charges if he enrolled in a re-licensing program. One month later, Stevens was caught again, driving with a suspended license. He was convicted of a misdemeanor and sentenced to 90 days in jail all suspended, on condition that he stay out of trouble for a year.

In Stevens' first four years with the Seahawks, his coaches waited for him to be the player they thought he was. His fifth year, Stevens played well in the regular season only to drop three passes in the Super Bowl.

Still, he was poised to cash in. When he became a free agent on March 2, 2007, Stevens seemed likely to draw contract offers of $10 million and up. All he had to do was stay out of trouble.

Eleven days after he became a free agent, Stevens was stopped just after 2 a.m. by a police officer in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Stevens' car had drifted over the lane marker three times. Stevens, alone, was not wearing a seat belt. His eyes were bloodshot and his speech slurred. He told the officer he'd had "a little" to drink. "Four or five margaritas."

Getting out of the car, Stevens dropped his cellphone and wallet. Asked to do a walk-and-turn sobriety test, he stumbled and nearly fell.

His blood-alcohol level registered at 0.204 percent, 2 times the legal limit.

That night, when the handcuffs clicked around his wrists, Stevens lost millions of dollars. He went from a sought-after free agent to a criminal defendant.

Stevens was convicted of extreme DUI, a crime that carries a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail.

A judge instead gave Stevens 12 days, suspending the other 18 because he was enrolled in the NFL's substance-abuse program. This is the same program Stevens entered in 2003, after being stopped with two open champagne bottles in his car.

The DUI in Arizona appears to have violated the terms of Stevens' suspended sentence in King County and could have led to more jail time here. But nobody in King County flagged it.

The NFL handed Stevens a one-game suspension his only suspension as a pro.

Seven weeks after his arrest in Arizona, Stevens landed with another team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him on the cheap for $600,000, which was $5,000 above the minimum for a player with his experience.

"He is a big, powerful, speedy tight end," said general manager Bruce Allen. "He has had some off-the-field issues that have hampered him a bit. We had a very serious talk with him today. I think Jerramy Stevens is a good young man."

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren had vouched for Stevens, Allen said.

"Sometimes," Allen said, "you have to give people a chance."
WazzuRC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #3
Go Cougs!
WazzuRC's Arena
OVR: 26
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,968
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

About UW linebacker...

When the Cleveland Browns drafted Jeremiah Pharms in April 2001, the team praised him as a family man, responsible and mature. The Browns' new coach, Butch Davis, wanted players with character. Pharms was a husband and father of three.

"While his Washington teammates were out socializing on Friday and Saturday nights, Jeremiah Pharms was home changing diapers," a Cleveland newspaper wrote.

Days before the draft, Davis had asked the UW's coach, Rick Neuheisel, about Pharms. Neuheisel's report glowed. For four years Pharms had suited up, no matter what. Pharms was responsible, the coach assured Davis. With a family to support, he'd had to be.

In college football, an easy story line is hard to resist.

Fans get duped. Newspapers get duped. Even an NFL team handing out million-dollar contracts can get duped.

More than a year earlier, on March 14, 2000, at about 8 p.m., Pharms showed up at the apartment of Kerry Sullivan, a small-time drug dealer in the University District.

Pharms, a 250-pound linebacker from Sacramento, Calif., was a star at the UW. He bench-pressed more than 400 pounds, sported a pit-bull tattoo, and sometimes, during games, locked eyes with an opposing player and proceeded to urinate, the stream darkening his pants. He did this to intimidate. After all, who'd want to go against someone as crazy as that?

Pharms walked into Sullivan's bedroom, where the dealer retrieved a quarter-pound of marijuana from his closet. Sullivan measured out an eighth of an ounce while Pharms talked about how he was failing his classes.

The two hadn't met before. A mutual friend had put Pharms in touch.

After paying Sullivan $40, Pharms left the apartment.

About three hours later, another knock came at the apartment door.

The people who were inside say this is what happened next:

A roommate of Sullivan's answered, and two men came in. One, wearing a ski mask, ran into Sullivan's bedroom while the other intruder held a gun on the roommate and said, "Shhhh."

Sullivan, in his room studying for a calculus exam at Seattle Central Community College, heard someone yell: "Freeze. Don't turn around." Sullivan turned around. He saw a masked man with a silver automatic, jumped up and grabbed for the gun. The two men wrestled, then the robber pulled away and pistol-whipped Sullivan. As Sullivan fell, the robber fired a shot that went through Sullivan's right thigh and lodged in his chest, just missing his liver.

The robber went to Sullivan's closet, grabbed the bag of marijuana -- worth about $1,000 -- and ran off, tripping over a telephone cord and smashing into a wall on the way out.

One of Sullivan's roommates was a nursing assistant. He applied pressure to Sullivan's wound while another roommate called 911.

Detectives with the Seattle Police Department's gang-crimes unit were in the area and showed up first. Next came Mike Magan, a robbery detective who once played football at the UW.

Magan was an offensive lineman in the early 1980s, under Don James. He remained close to the program, keeping in touch with coaches and offering counsel to players.

After the robbery, a neighbor saw two men scramble into a nearby car, fumble around, then get out and run away. He pointed police to a white Chrysler LeBaron.

Outside the car, near the driver's door handle, Magan saw a bloody fingerprint. Inside the car, he spotted a Nike glove -- gray, with a gold swoosh -- stained with blood. Magan knew that kind of glove: It was unique to college football uniforms.

Magan went in the apartment and questioned one of Sullivan's roommates. The roommate described the robber who shot Sullivan as "linebacker size." Then he mentioned the initials "JP."

Magan knew those initials fit Jeremiah Pharms. So did the physical description. He asked the roommate if the shooter was Pharms. The roommate said no, then said he wasn't sure. Magan thought the roommate was holding back, possibly afraid of retaliation.

To Magan, the evidence pointed to one person. He pulled aside Jeffery Mudd, a gang-crimes detective and the lead investigator.

Your suspect is going to be Jeremiah Pharms, Magan told Mudd. UW linebacker. No 4. Goes by the initials JP.

The next day, Magan told the UW's head trainer about the investigation and said the suspect might be a football player. Please look out for any unusual cuts to an arm or hand, the detective asked. Police also talked to the UW's equipment manager, who provided one of the team's gloves for comparison. It was just like the one in the car.

Sullivan survived the shooting, although doctors were unable to remove the bullet. Interviewed in the hospital, Sullivan told police he thought the masked shooter was Pharms. The shooter had the same build, the same thick neck. Sullivan moved his marijuana stash around, but the shooter knew just where to go. And Pharms had seen where the bag was hidden.

Police also discovered that the Chrysler belonged to a girlfriend of Pharms'.

As crimes go, this case hardly rated as a whodunit. There was the glove, the car, the physical description, the initials, the fact Pharms had been there three hours before. And there was the bloody fingerprint, waiting for a match.

For Pharms, stealth never had been a strong suit.

In 1998, he and teammates beat another student on campus, with Pharms throwing the first punch. Pharms fled when police sirens approached. But a witness, standing where the fight broke out, pointed to a nearby poster of the UW football team and told police: No. 4 is the guy.

Pharms later admitted to being in the fight -- but prosecutors chose not to file charges, saying the victim's injuries weren't serious and that some witness statements conflicted.

Within 48 hours of Sullivan being shot, police had more than enough evidence against Pharms for a search warrant. And the sooner the search, the more likely that evidence would be found. A warrant would also let police obtain Pharms' prints and a DNA sample to see if they matched the bloody fingerprint.

But after the initial burst of activity, the investigation stalled.

Mudd had trouble figuring out where Pharms lived. He got a search warrant for an apartment in Seattle -- but elected not to serve it, based upon surveillance. He had seen someone other than Pharms sitting inside the place, watching television.

Seven weeks went by before Mudd got the correct address for Pharms from the UW police. Then, another eight weeks passed before the warrant was actually served.

On June 29 -- 3 months after Sullivan was shot and the marijuana stolen -- police searched the Lynnwood home that Pharms rented, and collected his fingerprints and a saliva sample. The house reeked of marijuana. Detectives found a couple of marijuana pipes, but no drugs.

Two weeks later, the fingerprint results were in. The print left near the Chrysler's door handle belonged to Pharms.

Mudd received this fingerprint report a month and a half before the UW's first game of the 2000 season.

Analyzing the DNA took longer, because of a backlog at the Washington State Patrol's crime lab. The results came back in mid-September, between the second and third games of the Huskies' season.

The DNA in Pharms' saliva and the DNA in the bloody fingerprint were consistent, the lab's report said.

The authorities now had a wealth of evidence against Pharms. Steve Fogg, one of the King County prosecutors assigned to the investigation, says that in a normal case, the office might have filed charges after those first DNA results came in. But prosecutors didn't see this as a normal case. The victim, a drug dealer, would be unsympathetic to many jurors. Plus, the suspect was a well-known football player.

"If you have a Husky or a Seahawk as a defendant, people want to believe the best of their sports heroes," Fogg says. "That's true in somebody's living room, that's true in the jury room. If there's any doubt at all, that doubt will go in favor of the sports star."

So prosecutors asked for more DNA tests, this time from a renowned expert in California. They wanted to "bulletproof" their evidence, Fogg says.

Prosecutors were also concerned how the case might play out in the media. Sportswriters tend to "lionize" athletes, Fogg says. "They're hard-wired to write about stories like triumph over adversity." Mudd, the detective, also worried about this. He had another player, Jerramy Stevens, in the back of his mind.

In the summer of 2000, Seattle police had arrested Stevens, the UW's tight end, on suspicion of rape. But prosecutors decided not to charge him, saying the evidence was insufficient.

"I think the department kind of took it in the shorts on that, and was made to look kind of foolish," Mudd says. "I didn't want to look bad, and I didn't want the police department to look bad. I knew we were facing an uphill battle in any kind of courtroom setting."

When Stevens was arrested, the case was highly publicized, creating anticipation of the charging decision. Detectives moved quickly. They had DNA results in three weeks.

With Pharms, the public knew nothing, because police got the search-warrant records sealed. The investigation crept along. This time, DNA testing took nine months.

On Oct. 21, 2000 -- seven months after Sullivan was shot -- 70,000 fans packed Husky Stadium to watch the UW play California. Many picked up the game-day program, which included a story about Pharms headlined "Putting Phamily Phirst."

The story line was Pharms the family man, a "devoted husband and father" whose love "knows no bounds."

The profile said Pharms never knew his own father and wanted always to be there for his own son and two daughters.

"When the game ends, Pharms will change his clothes and exit the locker room, into the smiling faces and open arms of his wife, Franquell, and his children. Win or lose, the game is only secondary to Pharms, who understands the value of family."

One year before, the story inside Husky Stadium was quite different.

In October 1999, Pharms' wife called police and said Jeremiah had assaulted her. Franquell said that, through a bathroom door, she had heard Jeremiah on the phone, telling a girlfriend he loved her. She kicked the door open and screamed about his cheating. He came at her, so she grabbed scissors. He knocked them loose and held her against a wall, his hand around her neck.

Jeremiah denied assaulting Franquell. He told police that the two were separated, and that she was the aggressor, trying to stab him with the scissors. He knocked them away and his cousin wrestled her to the ground.

Police arrested Jeremiah, but released him before the day was over.

That night, Neuheisel had a decision to make: The Huskies were playing at home the next day, and he had to decide whether to bench Pharms. The team reached out to Magan -- the robbery detective who'd once played for the UW. Magan went to the hotel where the team stayed before home games and met with Neuheisel and another team official.

Magan says he told Neuheisel: "I can't tell you what to do, Rick, but in my opinion, Jeremiah is the victim."

In the end, no one was charged in the case, and details about the incident were improperly sealed in King County Superior Court.

The day after the fight, the UW played Oregon at Husky Stadium. Franquell showed up and saw Pharms' girlfriend sitting in the student section, with Pharms' mother and his cousin. Franquell found a top administrator from the athletic department and told him that Pharms' girlfriend wasn't supposed to be there, "because coach Neuheisel did not want any distractions for Jeremiah."

Franquell walked into the stands. She made her way to Pharms' girlfriend, taking off her jacket along the way. Pharms' mother and girlfriend saw her coming. Get ready, the mom said.

Franquell pulled the girlfriend's sweat shirt over her head and began punching, witnesses told police. As a crowd gathered, Pharms' mother stepped in. Franquell pushed her away. Pharms' cousin pinned Franquell down. Police ran up and, not knowing what started all this, ordered the cousin to let go. When he didn't, they blasted him with pepper spray.

After talking to witnesses, police arrested Franquell on a charge of assault. Years later the charge was dismissed.

Pharms played that day against Oregon. In the fourth quarter, he recovered a fumble and returned it 22 yards.

On Oct. 27, 2000, a secret hearing was held inside the King County Courthouse.

This was six days after UW fans received the "Putting Phamily Phirst" story, and three days after King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng announced that Jerramy Stevens would not be charged with rape.

Michael Lang, the lead prosecutor in the Pharms investigation, was calling witnesses to testify about the shooting of Sullivan. The witnesses included a second girlfriend of Pharms -- not the woman at Husky Stadium.

The proceeding, called an Inquiry Judge hearing, was a way for prosecutors to compel testimony from reluctant witnesses -- and to keep their investigation under wraps. Before testifying, each witness was sworn to secrecy.

Prosecutors wanted this girlfriend's testimony because it was her car that the robbers used. The girlfriend testified that she'd let Pharms borrow her Chrysler before, but not on the night of the robbery. That night, somebody stole it, she said.

She met Pharms in the spring of 1999, she testified. He had pulled up next to her at a stoplight, smiled, and asked her to pull over. When they were together, she'd keep quiet while he talked to Franquell on the phone.

"I'm trying to get him to realize he is married," the girlfriend testified. "He doesn't even acknowledge what marriage is."

Pharms smoked marijuana "almost every day," the girlfriend said. She usually bought the drugs for him.

Daily responsibilities baffled Pharms, the girlfriend testified. He didn't know how to pay bills. When he needed a place to live, she found him a rental home. She also hooked up his phone service.

In November, one day before the UW played Washington State in the Apple Cup, the Inquiry Judge hearing resumed. This time, one of Pharms' teammates, Sam Blanche, was called to testify.

Kerry Sullivan, the drug dealer, had told police that Blanche was the go-between when Pharms bought the $40 of marijuana. But Blanche told Lang: "I didn't set up any deal for anybody."

Sullivan had also said that Blanche threatened him after the shooting, warning him not to report Blanche's name to police. Blanche denied that, too. "I never said any of that to Kerry," he testified.

Blanche was represented at the hearing by Mike Hunsinger, a Seattle attorney hired by at least 14 players on the 2000 team.

For Lang, the prosecutor, watching Pharms play that year wasn't much fun. "He's out there enjoying the applause of thousands, and yet he's a guy who almost killed somebody. ... That really bothered me."

Pharms played his best in the run-up to the Rose Bowl. Coaches named him a defensive MVP in each of the regular season's last four games.

The UW football team left for California and the Rose Bowl on Dec. 20, 2000.

One week later, Pharms' neighbor called police.

For months, she had worried about the pit bulls Pharms kept in his backyard. He seemed to be breeding the dogs and selling the puppies. She'd also seen groups of people in the backyard tying up bloody rags and encouraging the dogs to attack.

Now, Pharms had left four pit bulls in the yard, without enough food or water. The neighbor saw the dogs' ribs and, concerned they were starving, began throwing food bones over the fence.

A Lynnwood police officer arrived and captured two of the dogs, ones that had escaped the yard. He took them to a shelter, where a veterinarian examined them and described one as "all bony prominences." The two dogs that remained wore heavy chains around their necks, with padlocks attached. No water bowl in sight, they lapped from a gutter drain.

Pharms had already been written up repeatedly for not licensing his dogs. In September, he'd been convicted of a misdemeanor for having too many. He received 90 days in jail -- suspended -- and two years' probation. But still his dogs weren't licensed. And still he had more dogs than the law allowed. The officer wrote up a new set of charges. A court date was set and a summons issued.

Pharms never returned for his dogs. After the Rose Bowl, he was gone. He'd left the UW without a degree, ready to join the NFL.

The landlord found dog feces all through the house. "It was just a mess," he says. A UW alumnus, the landlord had done no reference check on Pharms. "A mistake," he says now. Estimating damage to the property at $3,500, the landlord contacted the UW, hoping to garnish Pharms' scholarship checks. But there were no checks to be had.

In mid-January, the police officer returned to the house and discovered Pharms' wife, Franquell, loading furniture into a U-Haul truck. He told her about the court date and summons.

She said Pharms would return -- and that she hoped the judge was a Huskies fan.

When the Browns drafted Pharms in April 2001, he was a fifth-round pick, likely to get a three-year contract worth $1 million.

But before he could sign, he was arrested and charged with robbing Sullivan, nearly 14 months after the crime occurred.

The Browns promptly released him.

Neuheisel said he had no idea Pharms was under investigation. A few days later he added: "I've been accused of knowing and not divulging, and I can categorically say that's false. I can only apologize and say that I was in the same company as everyone else who did not know."

Prosecutors called the evidence against Pharms "overwhelming." Although they accused him of shooting Sullivan, the most serious charge they filed was robbery. Pharms accepted a plea deal that reduced his sentence to a fraction of the nearly 20 years he could have faced.

He refused to identify the second robber. No one else was ever arrested.

A judge sentenced Pharms to three years and five months, saying: "It's difficult to imagine a more serious robbery without it becoming an attempted-murder conviction."

In prison, Pharms lifted weights, worked as a janitor and completed a 12-step program to improve moral reasoning. He refused to give up on the NFL, writing the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that he was treating his time in prison as a "long training camp." He signed the letter: "Jeremiah Pharms, #4, 2001 Rose Bowl champs."

On a Department of Corrections questionnaire, Pharms wrote: "What got me to this point in my life is not being able to deal properly with my emotions such as anger, pain, sadness and grief. Always feeling like I needed to smoke to deal with everything when in reality things were only getting worse.

"I was two days away from being a millionaire. ... And it was taken away because of a mistake."

In January 2004, a P-I sportswriter wrote a lengthy story about Pharms and his time in prison. The story raised a series of questions that suggested Pharms might be innocent. "Why would he, a year away from a shot at the NFL, decide to rob a drug dealer at gunpoint, particularly one who likely would recognize him, mask or not?"

The story steamed the case's two prosecutors. They drafted a letter to the P-I's editor, but decided not to send it. The letter said the story vilified the victim "while glorifying the man who shot him." It added: "Mr. Pharms is a lucky man: lucky that his victim didn't die, lucky that his victim wasn't permanently disabled, lucky we had mercy on him."

In 2004, Pharms became eligible for work release and began playing for the Eastside Hawks, a semipro team in Everett.

In June 2005, he was released from supervised probation -- allowing him to leave the state without permission and see his family in California.

One week later, the Hawks were scheduled to play a night game at home. That morning, around 2:30 a.m., a state trooper stopped Pharms for speeding on I-5. Pharms' eyes were watery and his breath smelled of alcohol. His blood-alcohol level was 1 times the legal limit.

Pharms, the trooper wrote, "offered to give me free tickets to the Everett Hawks football game, and I advised him that I appreciated the offer but I could not accept."

Charged with driving under the influence, Pharms failed to appear in court. A judge issued an arrest warrant -- one that remains in force.

Pharms played last year for the New York Dragons in the Arena Football League but was released during the season.

Three months ago, he was charged in Sacramento with two felonies: illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner that could harm or kill. Those charges are still pending.
WazzuRC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #4
Go Cougs!
WazzuRC's Arena
OVR: 26
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,968
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

If anybody wants to follow these articles, go to http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/victoryandruins/
WazzuRC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2008, 04:47 PM   #5
OVR: 43
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: OS Midwest Office
Posts: 43,658
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

Psyblast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
Go Cougs!
WazzuRC's Arena
OVR: 26
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,968
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

The article about Jerramy Stevens is probably one of the most disturbing, sickening things I've ever read. I hope this piece of trash rots in hell.
WazzuRC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2008, 04:49 PM   #7
Get Ducked Up!
oakfan162's Arena
OVR: 17
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 4,786
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

This is insane!
University of Oregon
oakfan162 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2008, 04:57 PM   #8
Coug00's Arena
OVR: 18
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 3,478
Re: Extremely disturbing University of Washington Scandal

Originally Posted by WazzuRC
The article about Jerramy Stevens is probably one of the most disturbing, sickening things I've ever read. I hope this piece of trash rots in hell.
I guarantee the time Stevens used his text books for traction on his truck was the first time he used them all quarter.

My father in law lives in Olympia, which is near where Stevens is from. It was no secret that Stevens was a giant POS when he signed with UW.

On another note...Holmgren drafted Stevens and Koren Robinson in back to back years. OUCH!
Coug00 is offline  
Reply With Quote

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

« Operation Sports Forums > Football > College Football »

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:33 PM.

Top -