Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What to Make of the Alex Lewis Arrest

On Friday afternoon, Colorado offensive lineman Alex Lewis visited Bo Pelini in Lincoln and decided to transfer to Nebraska.  That night, he returned to  Boulder, and apparently had good time at a friend's graduation party.  About 15 hours after the news broke that Lewis was transferring out of Colorado, he was in handcuffs and headed to the Boulder County jail.

So what happened?  There was an altercation between Lewis, Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb, and Air Force Academy student Lee Bussey. Bussey ended up getting stitches for a cut to the head.  Lewis is alleged to have shoved Bussey into a brick wall; Lewis attorney said Bussey instigated the incident by assaulting Lewis first.

What's the truth?  It'll all come out in the end.  Lewis may have instigated the fight, or Lewis may have been defending himself.  Right now, it's important to not draw a lot of conclusions over what happened.  The only one that is safe to make is that Lewis had too much to drink on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Will Lewis ever make it to Lincoln?  Probably not this summer.  If the charges stick, probably not.  If Lewis is convicted, he won't...if only because he'll be incarcerated.  But if the charges are reduced or dropped, what happens?  That will be a call for Bo Pelini and Shawn Eichorst to make, and it's premature to draw any lines in the sand at this point.  If it does turn out that Lewis is only guilty of overdrinking and defending himself, that's one thing. Pelini might let him on the team, but on a probationary status that he keep his nose clean moving forward.  Or maybe not, considering a potential issue with alcohol abuse.

If it becomes a misdemeanor charge, it might be something else entirely. It all depends on what actually happened and who instigated this incident.

There's no need to rush to judgement here.  Lewis' legal situation is his biggest issue at this time; football is completely secondary. Even if he does transfer to Nebraska, he's not eligible to play until the 2014 season. So there is plenty of time to let the legal system resolve itself first, and then Nebraska can act accordingly.

As the facts become better known, this situation will sort itself out one way or the other.  I suspect that, in the end, Lewis won't be a Cornhusker....but that's a gut feel prediction, not a verdict.

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