Bad News Griz

by William Skink

Once again the University of Montana is catching negative headlines. Last week it was a piece in the Indy about the UM enrollment decline being worse than reported. This week, it’s felony burglary charges for several Griz football players.

I don’t recommend that previous link, because it’s the Missoulian. The Kaiman did a much better job reporting what allegedly happened:

The homeowner, who wished to stay anonymous, said a few rooms on the first and second floor aren’t connected to the main house where he and his family live.

His wife and three daughters were home when, according to charging documents, Schmaing, Counts, Van Ackeren and Tomlinson allegedly entered the addition with a ladder. He and his wife said they could hear the assailants walking around and talking upstairs and could see them through a front window, but the homeowners stayed quiet.

“One of the guys was standing in the doorway and he was as big as the door, so I thought it wasn’t in my best interests to confront him,” he said.

The home owner said he heard the four students talked about taking something, but the homeowner said nothing was stolen or damaged.

Reep arrived just before police arrived and the homeowner said he didn’t think she knew she was picking up the guys from a burglary.

“I hope they’re not guilty of much more than being extraordinarily stupid,” he said.

Does this incident warrant a burglary charge? I don’t know. Regardless, the behavior exhibits a continued culture of entitlement from the UM football program that’s troubling. Going places without consent just seems to keep happening.

Luckily, the Missoulian has another headline to help out Griz Nation, titled Prosecutor: Initial Investigation Insufficient to File Charges Against Griz Players, Two Others.

If you read the article you won’t find a quote from a prosecutor stating what the title implies. Instead, you’ll read this:

“The Missoula City Police Department has given this case to their detective division for further investigation,” Pabst wrote in the statement. “We are meeting with the detectives this morning to request specific additional information. Once the investigation is sufficiently complete, our office will make individual charging decisions for each of the suspects.”

Paul Ryan is representing some of these potential felons, and so far his strategy is to depict this breaking and entering as simply some curious guys with a ladder and perhaps some interest in construction:

A Missoula attorney representing one of the University of Montana football players arrested early Sunday on burglary charges says the students entered a Pattee Canyon residence out of curiosity.

“I haven’t seen any charging documents,” Paul Ryan said. “From what it appeared to them, it was just an unoccupied structure.”

“They were just curious as much as anything,” he added.

Nice defense. I wonder who is footing the bill?

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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1 Response to Bad News Griz

  1. JC says:

    More delays until tomorrow:

    “I just finished reviewing everything and will not have charging documents ready in time for them to appear today,” Chief Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks said Tuesday afternoon.

    He confirmed the defendants will appear at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Justice Court.

    Key word here is “charging documents.” I suppose that means that they might get charged. He didn’t say “dropped charges.” Then again, who knows what an extra day of behind-the-scenes maneuvering can do in “Griz Nation”. Time will tell…

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