Keon Lawrence…Reinstated At Seton Hall?

Posted by jstevrtc on November 21st, 2009

From Zagsblog comes the news today that Seton Hall junior guard Keon Lawrence will be reinstated to the team within the next week, in time for the Pirates’ game against Long Island next Saturday.  This news comes twelve days after Lawrence’s November 9th arrest for driving the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway and causing a two-car accident.  At that time, he was charged with DWI and driving with a suspended license.  No blood test was performed at the scene, but two sets of blood tests — one done at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and another done later by the New Jersey State Police — revealed Lawrence’s blood-alcohol level to be below the legal limit of 0.08, despite initial reports of the contrary.

Let’s get the most important aspect of this out of the way, first:  we think it’s a miracle and we’re incredibly happy that nobody was seriously injured in this thing.  Someone obviously could have been killed, and thank God that didn’t happen.  But that’s the point.  When this happened, there was evidently ample reason to charge Lawrence with DWI and take him to the hospital to draw blood, and for coach Bobby Gonzalez  to issue an immediate and indefinite suspension to Lawrence (admittedly, he had enough reason to suspend Lawrence just with the suspended license charge).  So we know alcohol was involved.  We don’t know anything about Lawrence’s constitution or his liver’s ability to process alcohol, but maybe he’s the kind of guy who’s blottoed at some level below the arbitrary 0.08.  That’s speculation on our part, but it barely matters.  What really matters is that Lawrence knew how many things he was doing wrong when he got in that car that night, which was also a mere four nights before playing his first game for SHU after transferring from Missouri and sitting out a whole year.  We don’t know Lawrence personally, and he might be a great kid.  But this was one bad decision after another, and someone, including Lawrence himself, could have paid the ultimate price.

That in mind, doesn’t three early-season games sound a little light as far as a suspension?  We’re all for second chances, here, and we pride ourselves in not being one of those sites that just goes out and finds reasons to pick on 18-to-22 year-old kids so we can pass judgment and appear clever.  But…decisions that break various laws and that could kill you or others = three games?

We’ll say this — if Lawrence has learned his lessons regarding this whole issue, that’s great.  That’s what matters in the end, that people learn from their mistakes and change their behavior accordingly.  That’s the object of any punishment.  We hope he learns to take full advantage of all the opportunities he’s been awarded.  But reinstating Lawrence after a mere three games after an incident like this makes it look like the Seton Hall program didn’t take this whole thing very seriously at all.

jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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4 Responses to “Keon Lawrence…Reinstated At Seton Hall?”

  1. Brian says:

    I am a Seton Hall fan. I can tell you the school did take this matter seriously, despite what it seems, and thought about it for over a week. I do not agree with the reinstatement as I thought he should have been gone for, at the very least, the non-conference schedule. We have to respect by the school’s decision though and they may (and likely do) have facts that the public does not.

    I agree the .08 BAC is very arbitrary and we just don’t know whether he was truly under the influence or not. Even if you’re below .08 I believe you can be. Everyone handles alcohol differently. As you said, we just don’t know about that and only Keon really knows. I do find it amazing that someone could drive the wrong way on a major highway at 3AM without being under the influence of alcohol. That is purely my opinion though.

    Keon violated team rules by being out late and consuming alcohol during the season (doesn’t matter if he was legally drunk or not). For that alone he should be gone 5 games in my opinion. Additionally, he was driving with a suspended license as you mentioned. Keon has not learned his lessons so far as he has been involved in other transgressions (minor) since transferring to Seton Hall. I don’t know what went on at Missouri. Hopefully this time will be different, although he was allowed to sit on the bench for some reason in the home opener against St. Peter’s. In addition he was wearing a bright white suit ala Rick Pitino. Certainly not the best wardrobe choice when you just humiliated the program and yourself. Why would he try to draw attention to himself like that? It certainly paints the portrait of a kid who needs to grow up and get his house in order. The perception is he isn’t and that, for his sake well beyond basketball, needs to change. I really hope it does.

    For Seton Hall, this makes it seem as if they put winning ahead of everything else, similar to other disciplinary jokes at schools like Louisville and Connecticut. Sadly, that is the way of college basketball these days. I hope I am wrong and that SH has facts that prove otherwise that they are not releasing. The team should be pretty good this year and while he is an important part of the team, SH should not be putting winning basketball games ahead of standards and discipline.

  2. Al says:

    You can’t have it both ways. You are speculating. “there was evidently ample reason to charge Lawrence with DWI” and “But…decisions that break various laws and that could kill you or others ” plus others. I love the “That’s speculation on our part, but it barely matters. What really matters is that Lawrence knew how many things he was doing wrong when he got in that car that night”

    “evidently there was ample reason” to reinstate him after three games. “”evidently there was ample reason” for the Trooper to let him go that night.

    You DO NOT KNOW what happened on that road. Everytime you get in a car, you “could” kill someone. You DO NOT KNOW what Keon knew or did not know.

    “For Seton Hall, this makes it seem as if they put winning ahead of everything else”. “seem”??? Do you know what a fact is? How about getting an interview with Monsignor and then report that.

    Blog some facts or else go back to your bar stool and dip your in nose n your beer.

    You are preaching, judging, and assuming with no direct knowledge of the facts.

  3. jstevrtc says:

    Al:

    There was not ample reason for the trooper to let him go that night. He was not let go. He was arrested.

    If you want facts, here they are. Keon Lawrence:

    — was out after curfew, a violation of team rules, a few days before his “second chance” debut with another team (his words).
    — was driving on a suspended license.
    — was driving THE WRONG WAY on the Garden State Parkway.
    — caused an injury accident with another motorist.
    — was charged with DWI by the officer on the scene. (this one’s important.)
    — had a blood-alcohol level LESS than the 0.08 legal limit when his blood was eventually drawn.

    So, I think I DO know a little about what happened on that road. This is what was reported, it’s the information we have to go on. Nothing there has been disputed. If something is brought to light that refutes one or more of those, I’ll most certainly update the piece.

    Now — get ready, because there is some speculation, here, though not much — I can only think of one reason that an officer who has pulled over a motorist who was driving the wrong way on a major thoroughfare would arrest/charge someone with DWI without any other evidence, and that’s if the motorist was asked to take a breathalyzer and refused. The concept of implied consent dictates that if the officer on the scene has reason to think you are impaired because of alcohol, he will ask you to take a breathalyzer, field sobriety test, whatever. And if you REFUSE that test, when this goes to court, YOU have to prove that you were not alcohol-impaired. The burden of proof is on YOU at that point. This will be very easy for Keon now, since when his blood was eventually drawn (how long after the arrest, I wonder?), he was below the legal limit. He’ll walk on the DWI charge. But if the officer took him down for DWI, it’s VERY easy to assume that a breathalyzer was offered, yet we know no test of any kind (breathalyzer, blood test) was performed at the scene. Why would Keon refuse it? If he’s sober, why not just take the test?

    My conclusions in the piece were:

    — Keon Lawrence made some bad decisions on that night.
    — Forgetting the legal matters, he knew what was best for him and his team, and he chose to do the opposite.
    — Drunk or not, Lawrence could have killed someone by driving the wrong way on a major highway.
    — Because there are so many factors involved here, the suspension of three games is, in my view, too short.

    I don’t think my conclusions are too far out there, based on the FACTS that I outlined above. I think what’s going on here is you’re a Seton Hall fan who doesn’t like negative things said about a member of the team. I can understand that. But what I’ve listed up there are facts. If you have other information, then bring it. You can’t just show up here and tell me I’m speculating when I have more facts than you do. If other information comes to light, I’ll be the first one to amend my opinion. I’m not here to just bash your player or your program, even though it might seem like that if you’re a fan.

    And as far as your line: “Blog some facts or else go back to your bar stool and dip your in nose n your beer.”…

    Going by that last bit, it looks like you might want to heed your own advice. And hey, you don’t know me. I might be a tea-totaller. Or I might be the kind of guy who chooses to drink my beer through my mouth. See…you’re speculating.

    Finally, I’d love to interview the Monsignor, if he’ll do it. I’m going to speculate that he has bigger fish to fry right now.

    John Stevens
    RTC

  4. Brian says:

    John, as I said in my comment I’m a SHU fan. I have no problem with what you wrote and agree with a large portion of it. Keep up the good work.

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