On a day when most of us are nursing off a hangover from the Packers’ Super Bowl win Sunday, Darrell Williams has that I’m going to puke feeling for quite another reason. The Payne County District Attorney’s office in Oklahoma filed felony charges against the Oklahoma State starting forward Monday morning which include one felony count of sexual battery and three felony counts of rape by instrumentation. A rape charge can carry up to 15 years in prison and the sexual battery charge carries up to 10 years in prison. Williams plead not guilty to all 4 charges before being taken to the Payne County jail where he was released on a $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 7th for a preliminary hearing.
Williams is in his first year at OSU after transferring from Midland. He is a junior on the Oklahoma State Cowboy’s basketball team, averaging 7.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. He can now add 4 felony charges to his stats sheet. The rape and sexual battery allegedly occured on December 13th in Stillwater, Oklahoma at a house party near the university. Assistant coach Chris Ferguson substituted for head coach Travis Ford in the Big 12 conference call Monday and claims he was unaware of the charges against Williams. Williams is accused of raping 2 women at a private residence near the OSU campus in December 2010. The incident has been under investigation by Stillwater police since early December when they received an anonymous letter claiming there was a sexual assault at a party.
According to the affidavit filed by Stillwater police we could have another Duke Lacrosse-like scandal on our hands. (For those of you who don’t read the news, 3 Duke lacrosse players were accused of raping an exotic dancer they had hired in 2006. While the charges were ultimately dropped the 3 players still had to endure public scrutiny and the fear of being charged with felonies.) One of the 2 women reported Williams groped her, took her to the backyard of the residence where the party was to help her look for her missing money and id and then proceeded to become more forceful, putting his hands down her pants and underwear. The other woman reported being sexually assulted by several members of the OSU basketball team but could only identify Williams and one other man who is not on the team in a photo lineup. While 6 players on the basketball team have been questioned, charges have only been brought against Williams at this time.
OSU released a statement Monday afternoon in which head coach Travis Ford said Williams will not be travelling or playing with the Cowboys while he is facing charges. Unfortunately for Williams the suspension from the team comes right after being named the Big 12′s newcomer of the week after leading the Cowboys to back-to-back wins over Missouri and Oklahoma. With March Madness only a month away, Williams college hoop dreams just may be cut short.
Which brings me to my reoccuring opinion whenever rape charges are brought against college and professional athletes……. REALLY???!!!! Williams plays basketball in the Big 12, at a school where athletes are treated like Gods. I am sure he can find a girl who is willing to partake in sexual activities with him. Is someone who started 12 of the last 23 games really that desperate that he has to rape someone instead of finding one of the thousands of girls who would be willing to do just about anything to be with a basketball or football player? Obviously if the charges are true I 100% support the 2 woman in this case but more often than not the charges get dropped and a fame hungry girl is exposed. In Williams’ case he will most likely not be able to compete for the rest of the season and his college career may be over for good. As a junior who transferred from Midland this year, he is already in at least his 3rd of his 5 years of NCAA eligibility. By the time the case has gone to trial he will be in his 4th or 5th year of eligibility, making his basketball career as good as done even with a verdict of not-guilty. I will eagerly be awaiting the outcome in this case. If the allegations turn out to be false I truly hope the NCAA makes sure Williams’ college basketball career is not ruined in the process. If the allegations turn out to be true, OSU really needs to get their student athletes some counseling…