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Best of Portland 2009

The dirty south

Florida footballers called for very personal fouls
By MATT TAIBBI  |  May 6, 2009

TAR HEEL BOOTED: Angelo Hadley was signed up to play for the University of North Carolina. That is, until he allegedly slept with a 14 year old whom he helped his brothers rob.
Normally, this is the time of year when a lot of pro football players get arrested — the weeks after the draft and before training camp, when new rookies get their first checks and end up blowing them at fancy nightclubs on eight-balls and escorts before driving home with bellies full of Courvoisier. This past week, however, was a semi-extraordinary one in that tons of amateur football players were getting arrested. There were charges, both serious and not all, across the continental US, particularly in Florida and the South, so much that it'll be impossible to get to them all. We'll do our best.

First, a truly ugly story from Florida: a big-time prep defensive back named Angelo Hadley, who had signed a letter of intent to play for Butch Davis at the University of North Carolina, had his scholarship offer rescinded after being arrested for the second time in a month. Both arrests stem from a disturbing four-day period last February, during which time Hadley was allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl at her home in Hillsborough County, Florida. As if that wasn't bad enough, before jumping into bed with the girl, Hadley apparently unlocked a sliding glass door so that his two older brothers, Adrian and Aubrey Hadley, could come in and rob the place. Assorted jewelry, a shotgun, and cash totaling about $17,000 were stolen from the house.

Angelo Hadley had already been picked up on two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. Now, all three brothers are being charged with armed burglary of a dwelling, grand theft of a firearm, and third-degree grand theft. Neither Hadley's high-school coach nor Davis had anything to say about any of this — no "We're disappointed that Angelo made these choices" or "We're going to let the judicial system run its course," nothing — they just dropped him and no-commented his ass.

Also, there was bad news for Bill Belichick buddy Urban Meyer down at the University of Florida. Marquis Hannah, a scout-team running back for Meyer's Gators, got busted for forcing his way into an apartment in Gainesville, screaming "We have to talk!" at two female residents, and then punching the boyfriend of one of the girls in the face when he came to investigate. Details are still a little murky, but Hannah was charged with a second-degree felony for unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling and a first-degree misdemeanor for battery. Interestingly, he's an SEC academic honor-roll recipient who majors in . . . criminology.

Want more? Florida State wideout Cameron Wade had a bench warrant issued after he missed a pretrial conference this past week; he got picked up for misdemeanor battery last November. And, heading a few miles north, Middle Tennessee State offensive lineman Travis Lilienthal was kicked off the team last week after his second arrest in five months. It seems Lilienthal followed up a December bust for auto burglary and public intoxication by getting caught burglarizing the dorm room of freshman quarterback Brett Burnette. (Memo to college football players: if you want to remain on the team, do not break into the quarterback's room and rob him. You can probably get away with whiffing meth off the belly of the dean's nine-year-old daughter if you can execute a good pulling block, but stealing from the QB is going to get the coach's attention for sure.)

In fact, the coach of MTSU, Rick Stockstill, made the college-football version of the sign of the cross over Lilienthal's dismissed memory, pulling out the old "We wish him well in his future endeavors" line. You know you've really pissed someone off when they hit you with that one on the way out the door.

We have to stop here, because there are too many of these damned stories this week. Y'all have to slow down out there!

When he's not googling "the three stooges" and "Hannah barbaric," Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached

  Topics: Sports , Bill Belichick, Butch Davis, College Athletics,  More more >
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