A football player for Washington State University was arrested early on Saturday on a charge of second degree assault after a confrontation between he and his girlfriend.
Last year, the linebacker for WSU missed the entire season due to a knee injury. In 2008 and 2009, he started in 11 games and played in 18. It is not yet know whether he will be playing in the upcoming season.
Second degree assault constitutes a Class B felony with a punishment of as many as 10 years in jail and up to a $20,000 fine.
WSU has suspended the young man from football activities indefinitely. Practice begins on Monday, and his status for the spring season remains undetermined.
Sources didn't indicate the details of the encounter between the athlete and his girlfriend, but such incidents are not uncommon. It is well known that domestic violence is not a problem confined only to households, but is also a serious problem on college campuses. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in four women is sexually assaulted during their years in college.
Certainly the violence is not confined only to college athletes. While it tempting to look at cases like the death of University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love last year and conclude that it is the result of a violent sports culture, college violence is not confined to athletics departments. According to Kathy Redmond, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, "violence toward women...has no race, no religion, no sport, none of that. It goes on everywhere."
And of course, men are not immune from violence by their girlfriends either. Both men and women may be victims, as we are becoming more and more aware.
NBC Sports, "WAZZU LB charged with a felony," John Taylor, 2 Mar 2011.
ESPN College Sports, "Athletes part of problem, solution," Dana O'Neil, 14 Oct 2010.