As things stand today, the New Mexico State basketball team will put a player on the court who’s facing a felony charge — something that according to the school, would ultimately result in his removal from the program if there is conviction of a felony.
If there is an assumption charges will be reduced or dropped against senior Tyrone Watson all together, then why was he suspended in the first place for a fight at a college party as Watson acknowledged in his only public comments since the incident. Watson isn't the first to be re-instated facing such a future, and there is the problem.
What kind of message does that send to the public and future incidents in basketball or other programs at NMSU, and what will the reaction be when the Aggies return home next weekend — senior weekend at the school no less?
Watson was indicted by a Grand Jury on Friday and his suspension was officially lifted on Friday. Aggies head coach Marvin Menzies indicated on Tuesday that Watson will join the Aggies on the court at Denver on Saturday.
Watson may very well be cleared of all wrongdoing. Personally, I hope that happens. The description of Watson as a standout member of the program is well warranted in my limited access, as well as talking to folks in and around the program during his five years at NMSU. Watson made a mistake and fair, or not, his stature as a basketball player (one of 13 on scholarship) puts him under a microscope. A microscope with a glare that’ll glow brighter the further the Aggies travel in their postseason journey.
A decision in the court system won't likely come until after basketball season. If the courts reduced or dropped the charges before the end of the season, then by all means put him on a plane to immediately join his teammates. But that seems unlikely to happen within the next month, which is unfortunate for a fifth-year senior who is close to graduation.
What is more important it seems to the university is getting Watson back in action, no matter the possible reaction by the public.
That wasn’t the case in a recent incident where four Alabama football players were arrested and charged for second degree robbery and credit card fraud. Less than two weeks later, the players were not only dismissed from the team but from the school.
The school didn’t waffle and didn’t wait to see how the issues worked their way through the legal system. The decision appeared to be made with the reputation of the school and the program in mind.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said the players' actions did not "reflect the spirit and character that we want our organization reflect."
There are some who believe NMSU missed an opportunity in their ruling of Tyrone Watson’s playing status, to handle difficult circumstances with a sense of empathy. Instead, it appears such a decision was made, typically, with no more than one or two people in mind
An NMSU committee didn’t wait for the courts to make their decision. They recommended his suspension for a quarter of the season was sufficient. Athletics Director McKinley Boston agreed to let Watson return to the team.
This is indicative of a university that operates in its own little world.
Who can blame Watson or the basketball coach for reinstating Watson operating under that umbrella. It's business as usual at NMSU.
Oh cry me a river Groves. Who cares. He missed 7 games. He didn't rob anyone. He didn't kill anyone. He threw one punch. Get over it. Or resign and go away.
In a Grand Jury, the prosecutor
essentially runs the show.
“The old adage is that…any prosecutor worth his salt can indict a ham sandwich,” says Michael Stout, the former president of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association."
I don't think Tyrone is innocent, but I do think this will be plea-bargained to a misdemeanor charge.
Jamar Young, also an Aggie basketball player, assaulted a policeman a few years ago and the then DA did not prosecute him. I'm waiting to see if the current DA pursues justice in this case. The athletic director at NMSU should quit referring to this incident as a fight - it was an assault on a student some 100 lbs lighter than Watson.
This is an embarrassment to the University, fans, and most importantly Alumni across the country!
What's worse is this years team should be celebrated for dealing with the adversity, but now will be overshadowed by a University's decision that doesn't care about its reputation.
Your Alabama reference is SPOT on. Why can't we follow that example?
+1 Mr. Groves
NMS needs to get in the real world and take note of what other schools do.You clean out your locker and you can return if the judicial system finds you not guilty.
NMS already has a terrible reputation as a thug school and they need a President and AD that can change their image.
Watsons alleged crime will go through due process. Watson will be punished by the court of law if he is found guilty of a crime. Watson served a 30 day and 7 game suspension by NMSU for what Watson had admitted to doing. Any further action against Watson until he has been found guilty of MORE than he had admitted to would be unfair, not so much to Watson but to his teamates. Would you like to serve your time before you are found guilty Jason?
The Alabama case you bring up is ridiculous. If these 4 guys were senior starters right before the conference championship game do you think Saban would dismiss them? These are four freshmen and 7 months before the season begins. You are grasping at straws.
What I don't understand is how NMSU completely forgot about the OTHER student. You know, the poor guy who was was on the receiving end of the punch. He missed class. He spent time in the hospital. Needs reconstructive surgery? He suffers no small amount of pain because a basketball player loses his temper and clobbers him.
NMSU, you want to do something compassionate? Let Watson remain a student and keep his scholarship, but get him the heck off the team.
Congrats Anon 5:17, you are part of the problem.
Whats the difference Watson and the others who have actually been dismissed when they have troubles with the law? Nelson, Joyner, JY, they were all let go for one thing or another and Nelsona and JY were far better than Watson. This team is not as good as the ones they played in, so why keep him around?
If Watson is allowed to play, then I have lost all respect for this program!!! Send him back to the streets or meerscheidt!!! Boston and Menso are running this program into the gutter!!! They lose 2 of 3to finish, maybe even all three?
For those of you who use "alleged" to describe what Watson did, Watson has admitted to punching the kid. Witnesses have said they saw him strike another individual. There is no alleged to this. He battered another individual.
There are no excuses for a 230 pound athlete punching out a defenseless 140 pound student. NONE.
A closer example is how Wyoming basketball coach Larry Shyatt handled a similar situation: the best player on the team was booted off the team.
By the way, Shyatt applied for the job at NMSU, but apparently he didn't have the same sort of Adidas juice Menzies showed up with.
See you in prison, Watson!
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