BY Bob Sherwin 09:37PM 01/18/2011

UW, Romar face complex decision

If charges aren’t filed, that doesn’t mean the problem is over

UW coach Lorenzo Romar may have to deal with a player suspension. (Drew Sellers/Sports Press Northwest)

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar may have to deal with a player suspension. (Drew Sellers/Sportspress Northwest)

Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone was able to deal directly and transparently with a troubled player, point guard Reggie Moore. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar is facing a more complex circumstance.

Arrested last week after marijuana was found in his dorm room Dec. 11, Moore was suspended indefinitely by Bone before Saturday’s game against Stanford. Bone said Moore may return to the court Thursday against Arizona State.

“He and I will meet here in the next 24 hours and we’ll take it from there,” Bone said during the Pac-10 Conference call Tuesday.

Moore played three games after the marijuana was discovered. Both Bone and the campus police continued to investigate the incident before his arrest.

“Over the years, I take every situation that I can recall and try to isolate it to the person and the situation because every one is different,” Bone said. “We think we’ve handled it in a professional way. As I was able to gather information, get details and confirm those details, not much has changed. But I wanted to make sure I had the right story before disciplining him and suspending him.”

He said this case is different because it happened in a dorm room in which Moore was not present.

Romar’s quandary is more serious and complicated.

The Seattle Police Department is investigating one unnamed Huskies player for an alleged sexual assault Jan. 8 against a 16-year-old girl. After the incident, the girl was examined at Harborview Medical Center, where she also was interviewed by police.

Until he is charged, the police and the school will not release his name. But the university confirmed the investigation and Romar has said,  “We take this very seriously.” He added that there was not enough information “for us to determine what’s going to be done here.”

The investigation could end soon. Since the age of consent in the state is 16, it may  come down to a “he said, she said” argument. She will say he forced himself on her, he will argue it was consensual.

Witness testimony and forensic evidence also will be used to determine whether there is reason to file a charge. If he is charged, he likely will be suspended, perhaps for the rest of the season.

If no charge is filed, Romar will have to deal with a secondary issue: Were team and school rules broken? If so, he will be compelled to suspend the player, as with Moore. That decision does not have to meet a threshold of a violation of law.

A suspension would publicly identify the player. He will be outed, which has its own ramifications.

Romar was asked about the issue during his Tuesday press conference but declined to comment specifically. He did admit, however, that things like this do weigh him down.

“You think about every aspect of your program, especially during the season when you have a lot going on,” Romar said. “There are many nights when my wife says, ‘You’re awake again, eh?’ ‘Yeah, I’m awake. Go back to sleep.’ So you are always thinking about all aspects of your program. You spend a lot of time think about everything.”


YourThoughts

  • Robert Loblaw

    I want to say something, but I can’t. This is what being a lifelong Seattle resident has taught me …

  • Shawnuel

    Bob Loblaw. Can’t wait to read your Law blog.