Thursday, May 17, 2007


The scandalous conclusion

So here we are, the nitty gritty of the finest embarrassments ASU has to offer. Like the hippie olympics, it really doesn't matter who wins since they're all losers. For good measure, let's take roll one last time:

Honorable Mention: Courtney Simpson and Eddie House
#11: Courtney Jackson
#10: Bryson Krueger
#9: Ryan Kealy
#8: Connor Banks
#7: JR Redmond
#6: Hakim Hill
#5: Barry Bonds
#4: UAC student section (basketball, 1984-1988)

And without further adieu, the top criminals in the history of Arizona State University.

Honorable mention part III: the military industrial complex, 2004-present. They murdered Pat Tillman and lied to cover it up. Not much to say since more facts come to light each day. Is a government worth preserving when it lies to it's people?

Somewhat ironic thet they're seen here together.

#3: Mitchell "Fright Night" Freedman, football, 1994-1998. First, watch this. That's how he played all the time. Mean, crazy, and angry. Unfortunately that's also how he lived his life. Freedman is the only player on this list that gets his nickname on the subject line because it fits him so well, as Orson from EDSBS will attest. He once hit a BYU player so hard that both Freedman and the Mormon went to the hosptal after the game, and I have been told by those in attendance that he was screaming while running towards the victim. Where to begin? Well, how about this snippet from the AZ Republic:

Mitchell Dehaven Freedman, 30, a safety who earned the nickname "Fright Night" because of the ferocity of his tackles, was found guilty of 15 counts, including five counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual abuse, kidnapping, aggravated assault and armed robbery. He could face more than 100 years in prison for the sexual assault charges alone.

And then he still faces trial on two other rape cases, one from 2003 and one that allegedly took place in 1992, when Freedman was 16.

Yikes. What's even scarier is that he wasn't even tried for the rapes that happened when he was a minor "because he was already going away for so long." I...I don't really know what else to say here. It's hard to imagine but his prison sentence may be longer than Loren Wade's after all is said and done.

#2 Stevin Smith, Basketball, 1991-1994. You knew it was coming, and why shouldn't it top the list? Smith, nicknamed "Hedake" by his teammates, orchestrated a point shaving scandal in 1994 that espn will never let die. Isaac Burton shouldn't be getting off lightly either, but Smith seems to be the main guy everyone remembers, probably since he was such an effective player when he wasn't, you know, cheating.

The scandal started when Smith got into cahoots with the now famous campus bookie Benny Silman. Smith was allegedly in debt to him for over $10,000, and the two plotted to beat Oregon State by six or fewer points when the Devils were favored by 14 1/2. It worked and managed to line both of their pockets quite well. The exact same plan was employed two days later against Oregon State, and the Devils once again won by 6.

The final straw was the day of a game against Washington, after Smith and Silman began to gloat about their recent financial successes. The word spread quickly, and heavy betting ensued- so much so, in fact, that the line on the game changed 40 times that day and Vegas oddsmaker Roxy Roxborough pulled the game from the betting board, the first time he had done so in his 15-year career. The FBI was notified, but the investigations didn't take place until 1997, enough time for Smith, Burton, and then head coach Bill Frieder to leave the scene of the crime. The fallout landed squarely on those left to continue ASU men's basketball.

Hedake (misspelled on purpose to fit on the vanity plate of his car) did 10 months in federal prison, but the stink of the scandal still hasn't completely lifted from ASU. His 10 months isn't so bad considering Silman got four years, but Silman also got a tv-movie deal out of it. Whenever ASU basketball is mentioned, point-shaving is typically associated with it. I suppose that's better than "sucks," but still defaming. It is the black eye that will never heal.

#1: Loren Wade, football, 2002-2004. The official site has removed his player bio from their archives, and rightfully so. What kind of a school do we have when players are murdering former teammates, outside of a club no less? The arguement started one night in Scottsdale and was reportedly about a girl. As Brandon Falkner was pulling away, Wade fired a fatal shot into the driver's side window of his car. While this is sickening as a Sun Devil, the societal ills it brings to light are equally alarming. There are no winners here: the Falkner family is burdened with overwhelming grief, ASU has been sued, Koetter was blamed for a lack of control, and Wade will be imprisoned for life. A truly sad moment for anyone involved.

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With the exception of Tillman, I have never heard of any of these. Even the supposedly legendary point-shaving scandal. I guess this is East Coast bias come home to roost. I think whenever a state west of Texas is brought up anywhere, my mind shuts off.

Many apologies.
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