So maybe he hasn’t grown up. Word leaked late this afternoon that Royce White was arrested in October for shop lifting and fifth degree assault. For non-legal scholars, fifth degree assault is defined here. Both crimes appear to be firmly on the idiotic side of the idiotic-harmful pendulum, and the indefinite suspension punishment appears appropriate at this time. No doubt this is stupid, but he is hardly a threat to society (especially when compared to the charges another Gopher power forward is facing). He is, however, a threat to his own career.
I have to plead ignorance when it comes to getting through to an incredibly talented 18 year who also happens to have incredibly poor decision making skills. Royce White has shown that when motivated enough he can stay out of trouble and be a good teammate. He also has a history of idiocy that makes me wonder if he will soon join the unfortunately long list of other stupid but talented people who have thrown away great opportunities.
White needs to be suspended, and only he and Tubby Smith know what it will take for him to learn that he needs to get his act together. If I was Tubby Smith, I’d keep him off the team until he can demonstrate that he can behave and until he shows enough remorse in actions and words that it is clear this will be the last time he messes up. And that remorse, it can’t be about missing out on playing time. It needs to be about making a horrible decision and showing that he has learned from it.
College kids, especially freshman, are notoriously stupid. I was too. Luckily I never got into that kind of trouble for poor decisions. If I was a talented basketball player who had been told that I was invincible, maybe I would have.
Royce White, you are now on your third chance. Don’t blow it. This is about more than basketball. This is about your life.