Just about the last person I would've expected to have a run-in with police was Logan Mayes. So it was a surprise -- shock, perhaps -- to see his name in the Pullman Police logs, and for hit and run, no less.
We still don't know the details of his arrest, and probably won't until sometime on Monday. It's impossible to get ahold of a Pullman Police representative on the weekend so we're left with a police log entry that's bare at best. We know it happened out in the cluster of apartments where many students live (a small residential street out past the rec center), and that the incident happened on Thursday -- Mayes' birthday.
Mayes is, from all I know, a good person. I've never heard a word about him being in trouble with the law (until now), causing trouble, or even falling behind in class. Every interaction we, at CougCenter, have had with him has been positive. He's a great interview and has always been open, honest and up-front.
Mayes is a leader -- a young man that leads by example and lets his play do the talking -- and has been a model player and person. So sure, the arrest is certainly out of character and I would tend to believe that the incident leading to his arrest was minor -- perhaps a mistake or misunderstanding. But we'll have to wait and see.
I would, however, be surprised if Mayes did something horribly wrong leading up to the arrest. All things considered, I'm leaning more towards "oops" than something done with malicious intent. This could be proven wrong later, and I'll eat crow if so, but everything we know about Mayes indicates he's a good man with strong character.
The timing, however, is pretty awful. As we noted before, it hasn't been a great week for the Washington State football team. The offseason is always a nervous time for coaches and fans; players, without football and a daily routine to keep them busy, tend to have run-ins with the law. Hence the Fulmer Cup.
Mayes' arrest makes two-and-a-half incidents this week -- we'll count Teondray Caldwell's as a half because it happened a few weeks back and the details remain murky. All told, Washington State players have combined for a making false statements to police citation, a hit-and-run incident, and an assault/burglary allegation that may or may not hold. Not good, but still not awful -- and none of the incidents touch any of Mike Leach's third rails.
One does have to wonder if Leach will hold a meeting that includes a stern warning for the rest of the team -- or, at the very least, position coaches may reach out to their players to pass along a message. While the police-related incidents may not be incredibly serious, it's embarrassing for the coaching staff to see their team in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Nobody likes it -- coaches, administrators or fans.
But I would hesitate to call the string of incidents an epidemic -- at least not yet. Football players and college students run afoul of the law. It happens. They make mistakes and pay the price for those mistakes; members of college athletic teams just have their mistakes magnified because they're in the public eye.
I have no doubt Mayes will own up to this and take responsibility -- that's just who he is -- so I'm less troubled by the incident, despite the fact that it's completely out of character.