BY Bob Sherwin 01:15PM 03/08/2011

Overton charged; out for Pac-10 tournament

UW senior guard faces misdemeanor charge of distributing liquor to a minor. He will travel to Los Angeles with the team, but will not play in the Pac-10 tournament.

UW guard Venoy Overton has been charged with distributing liquor to a minor / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Venoy Overton, the unnamed Washington Huskies player who was the subject of a police investigation earlier this year, has been formally charged with distributing liquor to a minor, a gross misdemeanor. As a result, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar suspended Overton from the team.

The point guard will not play for Washington in the Pac-10 tournament, though he will travel to Los Angeles with the team. If Washington plays beyond the tournament, as in the NCAA Tournament, Overton will be eligible to participate.

“It’s something that I’ve said all along that we take very seriously,” Romar said. “There have been some internal dealings with Venoy that I won’t get into because it’s family stuff, but I did not want to outwardly discipline him twice. I wanted to wait for this process to take its course.

“It was my intention all along that if something would happen, that further action would be taken from what’s already happened internally.”

His first appearance in Seattle Municipal Court will be at 2 p.m. April 1. The offense is punishable by up to a year in jail.

Initially, Overton was being investigated by Seattle Police Department for an alleged sexual assault on a 16-year-old after a Husky game on Jan. 8. After weeks of interviews and evidence gathering, the King County Prosecutor’s Office did not bring charges because of a lack to evidence.

The case was turned over to the Seattle Attorney’s office for the misdemeanor charge.

“It tough. It’s sad,” said Isaiah Thomas, one of his best friends on the team. “I don’t even know what to say, someone close to you that, in his last year, to go down like that. It’s tough.”

Overton, a senior guard, is the Pac-10 active leader in assists (387) and steals (176). The Huskies leave Wednesday for the Pac-10 Tournament.

Romar said this has been the most difficult year for him at Washington since becoming head coach.

In addition to the investigation, Romar cited the loss of Tyreese Breshers for the season, followed by the loss of Abdul Gaddy for the season.

“This has been the toughest year since I’ve been a coach here, for me,” Romar said. “You have a certain vision and you work hard for your program to be a certain way. You also want the best for your guys and, if something goes wrong and a guy makes a mistake, it’s always a setback. You always hate to see that happen. You make mistakes and there are consequences to deal with that.”

Romar said he thinks the Huskies lost thier confidence during a three-game road losing streak, which began in Pullman, then expanded to the Oregon schools. After that, he says the players were pressing mentally.

The Huskies’ opening opponent, Washington State, on the flip side, will welcome back its leading scorer Klay Thompson from a one-game suspension for marijuana possession. He’ll be ready for Thursday.

“What happened with Klay Thompson has no bearing on our decision here,” Romar said. “There were a lot of things to be considered here. Again, sometimes there’s an outcry by the public that, ‘something needs to be done’. As far as I’m concerned, behavior needs to change and we have to learn from our mistakes.”

“Mistakes are going to be made but every situation is different. I don’t think you handle every situation the same way sometimes. It’s important from here on out that we learn from this and go from here.”

There are more issues.

Senior small forward Justin Holiday, Washington’s top defender and the player who would oppose Thompson, suffered a concussion Saturday against USC. Holiday’s participation will be a game-time decision Thursday.

Holiday did not practice Monday or Tuesday.


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  • Jeff in Baton Rouge

    What a crock. This is a very yes I’ll say it minor charge. Happens all the time. 18 to join military but 21 to drink? Spare me Like this would happen to a liberal Arts student on scholarship who did same thing. The UW is not law enforcement and should stay the heck out of players personal business. This was done just to appease the anti sports fringe.

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  • Ji1di1

    I remember Rudman slamming James many years ago and is still trying to take him down. WTF? Th eplayers byou mentioned were James guys. You kinda suck Ruddy

    • crumudgeon

      Well written.  Class act.  We have a genius in our midst…

  • Joe Fan

    I would have given Sark an A, but the defense has so far, overall, been disappointing.  The lack of clear success on the defensive side (and don’t get me wrong, there are glimmers of hope), resulted in me knocking down the grade just a tad.

  • Guest

    Willingham left the following: Foster, Butler, Teo-Nesheim, Locker, Polk, Kelemete, Ta’amu, Aguilar, Kearse…others, I’m not entirely sure of: Glenn, Dennison, Price (commited to Ty, recommitted to Sark),

  • Romarmat

    when is the story coming out on Sark and his womanizing….. I’ve heard 3 different people tell me that they know a girl ( all different ) that he’s pursued….

  • TheGladMan

    In all due respect, why is Jim Moore even employed by a newspaper in the NW anymore?
    The guy writes like a high school freshman, comes up with outrageous titles and topics to get someone to even look a what he writes, and still thinks the football season is one game – the ‘Apple Cup’.
    Interesting to see his comments below. Does not surprise me – he is ‘anti-UW’ with everything, including the hiring of Sarkisian. Anything he can wrote about when the UW is involved has to be negative.
    Like MOST of us, I was surprised and concerned when the announcement re. Sark was made, but like MOST of us, wanted to give the guy a chance.
    He has proven to be the classiest and most competent coach in the PAC12. We would not trade the guy for anyone. No way in hell would I want to see an arrogant Napoleon like Chip Kelly at the UW – the guy is classless. He comes across like a used-car salesman – I.e. count our fingers after you shake his hand.
    He and Mike Riley are the best role models for these players, and we are very lucky to have him.
    I hope he stays at the UW a LONG time.

    • TheBigDog

      To clarify: Sark and Mike Riley are the classiest coaches in the PAC12 by far… well, I need to include Whittingham from Utah – he is a great coach as well.

      • Romarmat

        Classy? Sark?  never.. Wulff yes, classy is judged by the level of admiration from your peers… Sark is not well liked by other coaches in the Pac-12… Wulff is…