More Griz Thuggery

by jhwygirl

Tell me, honestly, how many of you were surprised to read that two star Griz players, quarterback Gerald Kemp and cornerback Trumaine Johnson, had scuffled with police, resulting in their arrest in the early Sunday morning hours after their game at Northern Arizona University?

I’m kinda shocked it’s just the second incident to happen out of this years team, Nate Montana, son of the famous quarterback Joe Montana, having been arrested on DUI charges back in June – only a few short months after transferring here from Notre Dame, where he had been arrested along with 10 other players for underage drinking.

Nate, for his part, was able to avoid the DUI (despite speeding, stumbling out the car, and failing field sobriety tests) by refusing a breathalyzer. He plead guilty in July of reckless driving, and the DUI charge was then dropped.

Which is sure convenient for the Griz players and fans (and Coach Pflugrad) given that starting quarterback Gerald Kemp was arrested Sunday morning…and Nate is waiting in the wings wanting that starting position.

Attorney Darla Keck sat between Kemp and Johnson’s arraignment today. Datsopoulos, MacDonald & Lind? Apparently the Griz boosters have retained some money with a pretty highfalutin firm.

Smart – statistics show they will need them for at least once more arrest incident before the year is out.

UM Athletic Director Jim O’Day released a statement saying that they “will let the judicial system run its course. Any disciplining will be handled internally through our student-athlete code of conduct.

Nice – that’s not the type of statement UM put out after “The Streaker” made his appearance back in early September. The University has threatened this kid with expulsion, and as an editorial in The Independent pointed out – not one person was harmed.

If someone in the Griz stadium hadn’t seen a penis yet – and really – who really saw anything? – then the only harm done was seeing one a little too early.

Daniel Thew (“The Streaker”) has apologized – he apologized in the local justice court…and he’s continually apologized, most recently this Sunday in the Missoulian. Go read the comments.

Then read the comments on the most recent Griz arrests.

And while you’re at it, make an appeal for some justice – in this case some student and community justice – and send UM administrators such as President Royce Engstrom, Vice President James Foley, athletic director Jim O’Day and email – with copies to Griz Football administrative assistant Linda Cardinal – and call on them to give Daniel Thew the slap on the wrist he deserves and dole out some real “student code-of-conduct” justice for the Griz football players out there physically and verbally threatening city police officers and endangering community members by drinking and driving.

Year after year, it’s the same thing with the Griz football players. Time for the Univerisity…the Alumni..the boosters and the fans to expect more.

And mean it.

  1. one of oregon’s best players, cliff harris- was recently caught driving without a license, insurance or registration and oregon’s coach chip kelly didn’t hesitate to suspend him from the team the rest of the season.

    meanwhile, the criminal enablers over at U of M like AD O’day maunder and discuss secretly behind closed doors.

    what’s to discuss? these guys don’t deserve $50k a year room and board and education paid for by the taxpayers of montana..

    suspend them now before sports illustrated comes out with another embarrassing expose…… how does the top ten disreputable football programs in america sound?

    the behavior of many griz players the past five years should at least get U of M in the top three.

    (remember i only swore off politics)

    sorry about commenting on wrong thread – already getting rusty

  2. d.g.

    Thanks for the original post and for including Foley and Engstrom’s e-mail. Just sent them both a note stating that if nakedness is a sex crime, two 21 year-old athletes high on alcohol confronting a police officer is certainly assault with some sort of intent. Sadly, despite their claims of waiting to see what UM policy and process produce, a hellova lot of e-mails to both Foley and Engstrom could well influence the final details. Too bad it’s too late for the naked kid.

  3. Chuck

    I’m willing to give people a second chance, especially college students. I think Pam Walzer’s arrest was a perfect example that people do dumb things. Did you call for Pam to be suspended from her public service job?

    • Ryan Emmett Morton

      People did call for Pam to step down. Further, she willingly submitted to sobriety tests and took accountability for her actions without sneaking away with reckless driving.

      Also, violence against police officers doing their job is more than just a dumb thing – it’s a heightened level of violence with a wanton disregard for the person being attacked. Further, I think the post is expressing anger over what appears as a severe lack of accountability for student athletes – and staff who protect them – at UM who commit criminal acts.

  4. Chuck

    I believe Pam also pled not guilty at her arraignment which is what the students have done. I’d also suggest that in the last year a greater percentage of the city council have been arrested than the Montana football team yet there have been no accusations of the city council being a band of “Thugs”.

    • Ryan Emmett Morton

      Certainly the students are innocent until proven guilty, but I doubt the police officers lied about what happened. Regardless of guilt or innocence, I still think you’re missing the point of the post (as stated above).


      Pleading not guilty allows the attorneys time to evaluate the situation and typically is NOT a statement about their innocence or guilt.

      Also, people made plenty of negative comments about Pam. Google the incident and read people’s comments. You were one of those people – so stop exercising short-term memory loss. I’m not sure DUI = thug – but I suppose that’s a matter of perspective. Furthermore, there isn’t a history of DUI or violence by the City Council as the post suggests is true about UM Football. Nor have City Council members relied on their “status” to get out of taking responsibility for their actions. You’re comparing apples to oranges just to take pot shots at Pam – enough already. Jeez…

  5. Chuck


    Google: City of Missoula Police vs Dr Walt Peschal, both the criminal trial where the city lost and the subsequent huge sum of money the city paid in a civil settlement to the Dr. for violating his civil rights.

    • Ryan Emmett Morton

      I don’t need to google it to remember that case has nothing to do with what you claimed about city council members committing violent acts. That case involved the use of police force to arrest the doc – different issue worthy of discussion, but not related.

  6. jack ruby

    Cops lie and start start unneccesary shit all the time. Even assuming they didnt it looks like one guy put his hand with an open palm on the chest and stiff armed a cop and then the other one pretty much got arrested for being a mouthy black guy on the scene. If these guys were occupy wall street protesters and not football players i wonder how this article and comments would read. They are being charged with misdemeanors. Sounds like typical stupid college kid stuff. I dont think the naked guy or the football players should get in any trouble with the school other then double secret probation.

  7. Chuck

    I would respectfully ask J-grl to use another word besides “Thuggery”. I’m sure you didn’t intend it but that word has negative racial overtones to me, much like the N word. I’m ok with “College Punks”.

    • Ryan Emmett Morton

      Wow… this conversation got totally hijacked by ridiculousness.

      Anyhow, go griz! Just check yourselves before you wreck yourselves… or someone else. Missoulians look up to you whether you like it or not. We want to be proud of you – truly, we do. Keep it clean please. :-)

    • I’m okay with “College Punks.” And with thugs, with thuggery, even with thuggee if employed in a figurative manner. It may have “negative racial overtones” to Chuck, but Jhwygirl, certainly no racist, uses the word within what I consider its generally accepted and historical meaning. It’s a good word to describe football players of all colors who get more than rowdy and become pugilistic punks.

    • “street thugs” “union thugs” “teenage thugs” “mafia thugs” “Gadaffi thugs” “Griz football player thugs”

      If you think it’s racist, it’s because you attach the “n” word to it.

  8. Ryan Emmett Morton

    So Missoula PD are liars and racists? I’ve never sensed that.

    (Occupy Wall Street and worldwide supporters have regularly insisted on peaceful protest. I don’t think too many people would condone violent protests. Most of the violence came from certain cities’ admins trying to disperse protesters with some officers resorting to force – sometimes brutal and necessary. Like Chuck, you’re comparing apples and oranges and ignoring the point of the post being about repeated law-breaking. — Note: If you insist on making comparisons, please make sure the circumstances are in fact comparable. Thanks.)

    If these two guys aren’t guilty, then I’m sure they’ll have cause to sue over the use of tasers as being excessive force. What I think jhwygirl is upset about it is that if they are guilty, they likely will receive no punishment until after the season concludes. This appears unfair to many people since the athletes are supported by scholarship dollars to play a game. Student athletes are held to academic standards and I think many people question whether they are held to an appropriate level of behavioral standards.

    Further, if anyone reading this were a police officer, would they agree that being threatened in the line of duty was “stupid college kid stuff?” I’ve been threatened by drunken idiots and even assaulted by people their age; it’s not stupid. And they’re not kids; they’re grown men. The community has every right to question the way their bad behavior is (un)punished.

    • jack ruby

      So you are comfortable saying that ‘most of the violence’ at the occupy protests was due to the actions of the police but in this instance you are quite sure that the police could not have been in the wrong? What exactly are you basing that on again?
      You call the comparison apples and oranges because you dont like the contradiction it causes you. Could it be possible that the missoula police were using improper force to disperse party goers in the same manner they used force to disperse protesters? Seems you’ve got a double standard and made up your mind on what happenedbased on nothing more than your previous stereotypes of athletes. In this case african american athletes.

      • Ryan Emmett Morton

        (Yes, news reports and various twitter updates with photos support that NYPD, Boston PD, and many others ended up in violence WHEN they worked to disperse the protesters. I don’t recall that happening in Missoula – but I would like to know if it has. All in all, I’m very comfortable with my statements. Also, the affidavit doesn’t suggest that Missoula PD initiated anything other than asking the party goers to quiet down and go to bed. So I’m interested to hear how the story goes according to the student athletes and witnesses.)

        Thanks for calling me a racist.

        I’ve taught student athletes at UM and have generally found them to be great students. I only had one student athlete in my classroom that got arrested for a marijuana linked, masked robbery/assault. Also a UM football player actually…ugh. Anyhoo… Suggesting I have stereotypes about student athletes is really out of line and lacks any credible warrant.

        • JC

          We had police violence in the summer of 2000 when excessive force was used to disperse the public. And I’ve got video to back that up.

  9. I point out again that before claims of favoritism and special treatment can be established, one should set a baseline for what happens in similar offense to a non-athlete college student. A recent incident here in Bozeman involving similar circumstances of a non-athlete college student who was arrested also while urinating in public netted the same exact charges as faced by Kemp and Johnson. Whether their legal defense is better or not is the result of the same social injustice seen almost everywhere, and has less to do with sports than it does the ability to purchase the legal system. At that point, it makes sense to be mad at the purchaser, not the institution attended or the activity tangentially related.

    I would also point out that the legal system itself doesn’t always make sense in assigning blame. In my opinion, Mike Kramer while at MSU willfully ignored the growing thuggery within MSU athletics, even when one of his own coaches was popped for selling drugs. After the situation grew untenable (a gangland style murder will do that) Kramer was fired. And he cashed $240,000 of state money because, according to our legal system, coaches shouldn’t be responsible for the off-field actions of players or former players, cast off when the coach no longer needed them. (Again, my opinion, but I don’t think Kramer is anything more than a talent-parasite.)

    So, I really have to ask, since next to nobody (well, actually nobody at all) has, what would be justice in this case, for these two young men, the administration of the University of Montana or UM athletics? These young men suspended? Expelled? Several years in Deer Lodge? Pflugrad’s head on a pike? O’Day being tarred and feathered? Engstrom taking full responsibility for the bad behavior of all misbehaving college students? (For the record, the Thew case and this one are completely unrelated. To equate them is as big a travesty of justice as any other complained about here. “Due process” is more than a buzz-phrase.)

    Do not get me wrong. I will be perfectly and supremely happy if Kemp and Johnson don’t take the field another time this year. GO CATS!

    • Ryan Emmett Morton

      Student-Athletes and Students are not bound by the same codes of conduct, Rob. Also, Student-Athletes are informed and sign an agreement to honor the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct – including not violating criminal laws. That’s pretty clear.

      Click to access 2010-11%20SA%20Handbook%20pgs%201-21.pdf

      Further, most regular students pay their own way through college and end up in debt. Another reason why I think many people are upset. They’re getting room, board, and education to play a game. Comparing them to regular students seems pretty off-base as many of the student-athletes are already PRIVILEGED more than most. I think they still have a right to their education, but they don’t have a right to athletic scholarships that could be used for other student-athletes when they violate criminal laws. Further, they don’t have the right to UM Athletics’s attorneys – another privilege. So UM Athletics pays their legal defense, scholarship, and decides their internal discipline. I think people are very much with cause to be frustrated here…

      • Student-Athletes and Students are not bound by the same codes of conduct, Rob.

        When it comes to the legal code, they very much are. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted of a crime. Asked, actually begged, to be censured for violating a ‘Code of Conduct’ that stipulates not violating legal code assumes proof that one has actually violated a legal code. That was the point of my comment. Student athletes, at website or fish wrap comment, should not be considered guilty until proven innocent.

        So UM Athletics pays their legal defense

        That hasn’t been established as at all a fact. In real fact, jhwygirl’s post points out clearly that it is a private defense firm that is handling the defense of these young men. And I’d be terribly interested if you could clarify who exactly are the “UM Athletics” attorneys and how they are payed for. I’m betting any amount you wish that this defense doesn’t come from state funds or is offered as a perk to athletes when recruited. In true point of fact, what you just wrote was a falsehood.

        I think people are very much with cause to be frustrated here…

        I do too. What does emotional angst have to do with any of this? Just because student athletes are privileged, and I agree they are, doesn’t mean that the rest of us get to call for retribution in the face of what is actually justice. You still haven’t answered the question. What would be justice in this case?

        • Ryan Emmett Morton

          Rob – I think you’re missing the point of the original post as well: the justice of UM policies regarding student-athletes… not guilt or innocence of the two players recently arrested.

          Also, I was talking about the Datsopolis et al. attorney representing both players – retained by UM Athletics. Although, I guess it could a coincidence that she’s representing both players…

          Finally, emotions are all we have right now as innocence or guilt hasn’t been determined.

          • Finally, emotions are all we have right now as innocence or guilt hasn’t been determined.

            That’s a fairly hefty portion of my complaint. Emotions are all anyone has and emotions around these parts are very anti-athlete/sports/sports and money/pick-your-poison.

            Two years ago I was called for jury selection to a municipal proceeding. A mentally disturbed man, on new medication, had approached two 16/17 year old girls in Wallymarts and told them that he had a “12 inch penis”. (I hope that the mods around this site don’t strike that as use of ‘bad words’.) They initially laughed at him, as I think any rational person would have. He then followed them around the store, getting frequently distracted. The young women complained to store personnel and the cops were called. The cops arrived, cited him, and escorted the man back home. That should have been the end of it. BUT, one of the young women told her mother and all hell broke loose.

            I was not selected for the jury, but I stayed to watch the testimony anyway. It was a misdemeanor crime. The consequences for this man, who seemed to only have a vague idea of what was really going on, were that his conviction would lead to some small probation and a sex offender tag that he would carry for the rest of his life. It is good that I didn’t make the jury because the weight of that sentence alone would have caused me to acquit.

            I think that the same for student athletes. I’m well aware that that a small percentage of them get away with all kinds of heinous behavior … for awhile. (Witness Ryan Leaf who probably should have been convicted of sexual violence in high school.) But I am not willing to mentally convict all athletes for doing exactly what others do and get not one tenth of the scrutiny.

  10. Chuck

    From what I hear there were articulate and sober credible witnesses that will state the police were out of line. The charges will be dropped, not because they are football players but because the cops were wrong.

    • Ryan Emmett Morton

      “articulate and sober credible witnesses” at 2:40 am in the morning. that’s dedication to getting your friends drunk. LOL!

    • jack ruby

      No not the beloved Missoula police! They dont make mistakes.

    • Ha. There were plenty there Diarrhea running their mouths. Vying for the limelight. I’m sure they all had their stories saying the same, it being the big party scene with multiple police responding.

      Yeah…I imagine that’s all going to work out fantastic for the arrested thugs – who, incidentally, each had multiple warrants out for their arrests.

      From what you hear? Lol…sometimes there’s video.

  11. anyone who actually cares about the U of Montana football program should be highly critical of a system that obviously has failed to address behavioral problems in several student athletes (many of them repeat offenders)

    to ignore the numerous crimes and disciplinary problems or to blithely ignore this pattern of repeat offenses by what appears to be solely football players is to ignore what is obviously a big problem- either the school has failed to provide understandable rules for standards of conduct or it has failed to enforce them adequately. it is that simple. most schools who aspire to greatness in their sports have and enforce standards of conduct. what are they? are they enforced?

    in short. i blame the school for fostering a program that continually brings shame on itself and seems to encourage rather than punish bad behavior.

    but since i am an oregon duck fan i could care less. go ahead and keep making excuses for bad behavior and see if your team can make it into the top five of america’s most disreputable football programs for all i care. i am sure sports illustrated would love to write another embarrassing expose. and i would be more than happy to read it.

  12. Chuck

    I just watched the interview with two ladies. There were lots of people there and lots not drinking. Note the alleged quotes from the cop at the bottom of this summary. The story will come out.

    • ryan emmett morton

      Rob, rob, rob. I’m concerned about UM Athletics policy on criminal behavior not on kemp and johnson’s guilt or innocence.

      • Uhhh, why were you responding to Chuck?

        Since you seem to miss the obvious and prescient, “I” don’t really care what you are concerned with. I care about justice. This is a legal matter. It is a matter of actual justice, not ‘your concerns’. The UM policy is very clear. If Kemp and Johnson are guilty in court of law, and remain on the football team, then you have a complaint. Until then, Ryan ryan ryan, you don’t really have much of anything.

        • Ryan Emmett Morton

          Ha ha! My bad. That’s what I get for blogging from my phone instead of my laptop. Please refer that comment to Chuck.

          Glad your interested in justice. I think most people posting here are as well. My focus is on whether UM policies are just towards student-athletes and I think it’s a valid community discussion.

          • It is a valid discussion, well beyond this community. As I’ve attempted to point out, if the community has decided ‘guilt’, then discussions of justice are useless. The term no longer applies.

  13. Chuck

    It was a noise complaint in a University town on a Saturday night. The party was breaking up as the police arrived.
    The cops had no warrant to enter the apartment yet tried to push their way in. The citizen said no but the cop insisted on attempting to forcibly enter the private property. On a noise complaint. The citizen attempted to call an attorney to get some protection from the cop. The cops grabbed his cell phone and threw him to the ground. You folks picked the wrong side.

  14. the official website of griz nation has the link wherein i obtained an excerpt which doesn’t seem to agree with your version chuck…………

    The first two officers who arrived estimated there were about 30 people in the apartment, said Detective Lt. Scott Brodie. They included “several persons who appeared to be under the age of 21 … and several containers of alcohol throughout the apartment,” according to the affidavit filed in the case.

    Kemp allegedly rebuffed Officer Mitchell Lang’s attempts to speak with him, putting his hands on his shirt and yelling at him, according to the affidavit. Lang called for backup “as it appeared people were becoming angry,” he said in the affidavit.

    “Nobody was really wanting to cooperate in shutting the party down,” Brodie said.

    When backup officers arrived, Kemp hit one of them, Pat Erbacher, in the chest, it said.

    “I reached out and grabbed Gerald and then Officer Erbacher then brought up his Taser and deployed it at Gerald,” the affidavit said.

    Johnson, who tried to intervene, was tased moments later when he resisted police attempts to get him on the ground, Brodie said.

    “Alcohol was definitely a factor” in both cases, Brodie said.

  15. Chuck

    Police wordsmithing PB. Among other details he left out the part of them executing a warrant to enter the apartment.

  16. We’re not talking about hardened criminals, or really bad men, just a couple of young men, who celebrated too much.

    It didn’t need to be headlines.

  17. jack ruby

    Pbear Im a ducks fan as well, but I dont think we should throw stones at the little griz program from our glass house. Chip Kelly is going to have us on probation and vacating wins soon.

  18. Chuck

    Why did you state above that the “thugs” had “multiple arrest warrants”? Did this outrageous claim help you promote your thuggery narrative?
    I wouldn’t expect you to apologize to the young men but will you at least correct the statement for your readers?

  19. Chuck

    This is a nice video. Life is too short. Feel free to delete the link if you like.

  20. C. Bull

    To all that would say “off with their heads”,after having had an experience with Missoula’s police officer core, I for one will hold my opinion on guilt or innocence until such time as the system, such as it is, determines the same. I remember when they were “peace” officers.

  21. rawr

    You’re obviously a racist. Innocent until proven guilty.

  1. 1 Hamm On Wry » Blog Archive » Arrested Development

    […] get sacked for basic pranking. If you want a primer on this, I recommend my good friend’s at 4 & 20 Blackbirds post “More Griz Thuggery“ on this exact […]

  2. 2 Griz pre-game let down « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] feeling that jhwygirl will do a more in-depth piece here at 4&20.  She’s been following Grizzly football antics for years.  Sometimes I think she’s a bit too harsh but in this case: go get […]

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