Lawsuit shows different side of TCU athletics

By Danny Robbins

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 24 2011 10:00 p.m. MST

The lawsuit doesn't provide any details about the prior conduct of Behling, who was at TCU only two months before he was expelled. Since 2008, he has been on the basketball team at Mississippi Valley State University, although he isn't playing due to an eligibility issue. Through William Bright, director of athletic communications, Behling declined a request to be interviewed.

The court filings raise particular questions about Jones, a defensive lineman who came to TCU in 2005 and played for the Horned Frogs until he was dismissed from the team two weeks before the alleged assault for missing meetings and practices.

The records detail how, just weeks before enrolling at the university, Jones pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in nearby McKinney, his hometown, but never completed the requirements of his probation, including attending an anger management class. Had he completed the requirements, the charge would have been dismissed.

In a court filing, TCU said a campus police officer became aware of Jones' misdemeanor assault case while investigating a burglary at the school in the summer of 2006. The filing makes no mention of whether the university took any action.

Not long after enrolling, Jones was nearly removed from his English class due to what the instructor described in an e-mail at the time as "verbal outbursts ... meant to intimidate and demean." However, Jones was allowed to remain in the class after the instructor met with an academic adviser from the athletic department and agreed that the player would be subject to rules outlined in a written contract.

In an affidavit prepared for the plaintiff's attorneys last year, the instructor, Billie Hara, said Jones "should never have been academically admitted to TCU" and that she felt threatened by his behavior.

"Developmentally (academically) Lorenzo Jones was simply not able to behave as a college student," she stated. Hara also said she felt pressured when the athletic department official visited her.

"I felt that now, not only was I dealing with a volatile and potentially dangerous student, but also an athletic department that was pressuring me to keep a student in my class who should not be there," she said.

Later that school year, Jones failed to comply with a university directive that he complete 40 hours of community service after he was found in a dorm room where marijuana was present. As punishment, the university prohibited him from using his student ID card to charge items at the campus bookstore.

The records show that Taylor, a 6-9 center, was admitted to the university in 2005 even though his high school academic record and test scores were well below TCU's standards.

Taylor's admission was authorized by the university's provost, according to a letter from admissions director Raymond Brown informing the player of the decision.

"Although your academic record falls short of our traditional admission criteria, selective universities grant a limited number of exceptions each year," Brown wrote.

At the end of his freshman year, Taylor tested positive for marijuana in a university-administered drug test, the records show.

If the test had been conducted by the NCAA, it would have resulted in a one-year suspension. But the university chose not to impose such a sanction on Taylor, who remained with the basketball program until he was dismissed from the team for unrelated reasons in September 2006.

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