Clyde Drexler wants the names of the innocent cleared in the teen-age sex scandal that has rocked the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Portland team captain's comments came Thursday as the Salt Lake County attorney was announcing a further investigation into allegations that Blazer players had sexual contact with two 16-year-olds at a hotel Saturday night.Drexler said some reputations were tainted unfairly when police made their report of the alleged incident public.
"The guys that were involved, we're going to support them wholeheartedly because we're a whole team, but the guys who had no involvement whatsoever, there needs to be some kind of statement made to that effect," he said.
"I think there should be about a week-long thing of people clearing names," Drexler said, "because they were throwing names out of the woodwork."
Drexler didn't deny that some Blazers were at fault.
"Sometimes the actions of a couple make everyone suffer," he said. "And it's not that they were bad actions; it was just bad judgment. Everyone is suffering because of that."
The police report listed the first names of seven people who, according to a 15-year-old girl who was with the two 16-year-olds, were involved in the incident. Six of the names matched those of Blazer players.
Four of those players have denied the allegations. Two declined to comment. One said he has hired an attorney in Salt Lake City.
Police announced Wednesday that they would recommend that no charges be filed in the case, although they were convinced some sort of incident involving the girls occurred. Police said the girls told the players they were 18 and consented to sexual contact.
However, Salt Lake County Attorney David E. Yocom said Thursday he had not decided whether to file charges against any Blazer players. He asked instead for further investigation.
In response, the Blazers issued a statement saying, "We are hopeful that the county attorney's review can be completed quickly so this matter can be closed."
Portland's Terry Porter said the unfortunate thing was that players who were innocent of any improper activity were implicated anyway.
"The ugliest part of this is that guys who had nothing to do with this got their names thrown out: married guys, family guys," Porter said. "Once the names are out there, it's hard to recall them back."
Geoff Petrie, the Blazers' senior vice president for operations, criticized some unidentified players Wednesday for showing poor judgment in their involvement in the case.
"We continue to be very concerned about the error in judgment by some of our players that allowed this situation to develop," Petrie said. "We have always demanded a high level of performance from players both on the court and off."
Petrie said players obviously should not be partying into the wee hours before a game, as was the case last Saturday in Utah.