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ex-Miami/ex-Louisville LB Willie Williams (official thread)


I think most got a kick out of the Willie Williams recruiting diary from the Miam Herald but look what is being said now


After he allegedly hugged the stranger in Gainesville, Fla., and refused to let go even when she demanded it, this is what a police report says the state's prized football recruit yelled to her: "Who do you think you are? You're a dime a dozen!"

And then he punched another stranger in a nightclub that night, according to another police report.

And yet another report says he later let loose fire extinguishers in a hotel.

Add this to the 10 previous arrests of Miami-Dade high school star Willie Williams and there's some sad irony to the University of Miami losing its top recruit on a University of Florida recruiting trip. As Miami should now. As it must, if these allegations ring true.
Williams signed to play football at Miami on Wednesday, but he did so while keeping all these legal incidents secret.
Now Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee is issuing lawyerly statements. Coker has gone underground. Its fans are wondering what's going on - or perhaps if he's worth the trouble - while rival fans are laughing at Miami's predicament.

and from one of the favorites of the Buckeye Nation


Larry Coker, Ron Zook and Bobby Bowden should be ashamed of themselves, their athletic directors should be embarrassed and their school presidents should be livid. Just when you thought college football recruiting couldn't get any slimier, Coker, Bowden and Zook have taken it down to sewer level by recruiting Miami Carol City linebacker Willie Williams -- a habitual criminal who has been arrested 10 times during the past five years and is on probation for felony burglary.

Of course, the coaches will tell you they weren't aware of Williams' extensive criminal past, but do you believe them? They can tell you how fast a recruit is within a 10th of a second, they know how much he benches within the nearest milligram, but they don't know he has 10 -- 10! -- prior arrests?


We can point the finger at Miami for actually having the shamelessness to sign Williams, but don't kid yourself: Florida and Florida State were just as eager to offer him a scholarship.

Williams visited the Seminoles, where he was treated to a lavish dinner, complete with four lobster tails (one for every misdemeanor?) and two steaks (one for each felony?). During his visit to Florida last week, Williams, according to police, was involved in three separate criminal incidents. The three offenses happened Friday night, yet UF allowed him to stay in Gainesville until Sunday morning and complete his recruiting visit.

My question: Was there anything short of Williams showing up for his official visit with a bag full of heroin in his glove compartment and a body in the trunk that would have stopped our three upstanding state universities from recruiting him?

Do me a favor, fans: Next time Coker, Bowden or Zook talk about the fine crop of "student-athletes" they just recruited, just roll your eyes and guffaw in their faces. Because for so-called reputable institutions of higher learning to recruit a player with this sort of background is not just disturbing, it's disgusting. . . .


State Attorney Bill Cervone said he expects to "take some action" in the coming weeks against Williams, who is facing three sworn criminal complaints following a recruiting visit to the University of Florida last weekend.
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Coker's Knowledge of Willie Williams's Criminal Record

First the Miami staff claimed no knowledge, now it is some knowledge without knowing how extensive the problem was. LOL!!!

Coker knew prized recruit Williams had `issues'
By MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer
March 10, 2004

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami coach Larry Coker conceded Wednesday that he was partly aware the school's prized recruit had a criminal background.

Parade All-American linebacker Willie Williams was arrested and charged last month with violating probation, his 11th arrest since 1999.

``I was aware and not aware,'' Coker said Wednesday, five weeks after Williams signed a letter of intent to play at Miami.

``I was aware that he had some issues in his past. The specifics? No. But I was encouraged with the people I talked with. I was also very impressed with his transcript and his test score. I was very confident with what I saw with Willie.''

Speaking publicly about Williams' situation for the first time since signing day, Coker said he had no regrets about recruiting the troubled Carol City High School star. But he also said he plans to revisit the program's policies and practices before next year.

``We were as thorough as we possibly could have been,'' he said. ``Will we do things differently? Sure.

``We're definitely going to revisit our policies, what we do and how we do it and certainly try to do it better. I feel very confident that whatever happens, this young man can be OK.''

Williams is free on bond and wearing a monitoring device. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted. His next court date is set for March 24.

He was charged with setting off three fire extinguishers in his hotel and grabbing a woman against her will during a recruiting trip to Gainesville in January. The charges led authorities in Broward County to arrest him on a charge of probation violation.

Williams was sentenced to 18 months probation in 2002 after he pleaded no contest to burglary charges. He was charged with stealing $3,800 worth of stereo equipment from a Pembroke Pines store. It was his 10th arrest since 1999.

Miami officials initially said they were unaware of Williams' criminal background.

``We're following the process and we certainly hope it works out, especially for this young man,'' Coker said.

Updated on Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004 5:13 pm
ESTDid Willie really do all of that?
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I'm sorry, but that is the best picture I have seen in a long time! That is just too funny.

``I was aware that he had some issues in his past. The specifics? No. But I was encouraged with the people I talked with. I was also very impressed with his transcript and his test score. I was very confident with what I saw with Willie.'' - What the hell is that?

Coker might has well have said: "I knew he had lots of problems and an extensive record, but his talent outweighed any of those problems. My neck is on the line here people. Just tell me what I want to hear, not what I need to and we can lock this top recruit down."
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Coker standing behind Willie


KISSIMMEE -- Larry Coker could set his watch by the question. Miami's coach will attend a booster event this spring, local media arrive, and the topic pops up.

Willie Williams.

If by some chance the name escapes you, don't worry. The actual person really can't go anywhere, at least as long as his electronic ankle bracelet keeps functioning.

The Miami recruit is currently under house arrest, awaiting a probation-violation hearing June 30. Williams may not have made the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, but he was ranked the No. 2 high school football player in America last season.

He particularly enjoyed his recruiting visit to Florida, at least until the police showed up. Williams allegedly set off some fire extinguishers, got into a fight at a nightclub and came on to a coed against her will. That prompted the parole-violation charge, and we soon discovered Williams had been arrested 10 times as a juvenile.

He quickly became the face of NCAA recruiting reform, along with Colorado Coach Gary Barnett. Besides a delicious training table, that program allegedly utilized sex and booze as prime recruiting tools. As coincidence would have it, an independent commission issued its report this past week.

It blistered just about every supposed leader on campus. Boulder, Colo., has become synonymous with Sodom and Gomorrah. The main difference was that Gomorrah's coaches weren't under any great pressure to win the Big 12 title.

That's not fair, since the vast majority of Colorado players aren't out-of-control boozers, much less rapists. Just as very few Miami players have to wear electronic ankle bracelets. Just as most college football players don't do anything to embarrass their schools.

It doesn't matter. In this high-profile game, the ones who do set the perceptions. That's why Coker knew the inevitable questions about Williams were coming Friday afternoon at the Hurricane Club spring golf tour. And he knew what to say about bringing a guy such as that to Coral Gables.

"I'm not trying to convince anybody," Coker said. "I'm trying to convince myself, and Willie has done that. He has good test scores and grades.

"Has he done some things wrong? Sure, there have been problems. But there were 117 schools that would have given Willie Williams a chance to be a part of their university."

No doubt, every other Division I-A school would have signed Williams and dealt with the consequences as they came. When it came to character issues, they would have echoed Coker.

Miami talked to counselors, coaches and administrators. It saw Williams' test scores and noted he was mentoring students. There were more than enough positives to overcome the whispers.

But shouldn't 10 arrests have said something? Even if they were mostly petty offenses?

There were legal privacy issues involved, but come on. After, say, the sixth or seventh trip to the juvenile detention facility, some coach somewhere had to know. And recruiters could have picked up on it, if they'd really wanted to know.

It doesn't enhance the image of an institute of higher learning, but that's the price a school must pay for big-time success. The best players often aren't the best people, so you make allowances and justify as best you can.

Williams' scholarship is on hold, though don't be shocked if he reports for fall practice. Schools believe the only way they can get a name, cultivate alumni and open the donation spigot is through a high-profile football team (see: UCF).

They're right, of course. There aren't many Web sites or 1-900 numbers or recruiting gurus dedicated to tracking where national merit scholars are going to college.

Coker is an excellent coach, and the kind of man you'd trust to look after your son. And Williams may just need some structure and maturity to straighten himself out. If so, he wouldn't be the first supposedly lost cause who one day got a college diploma.

At least the judge thought enough to allow him to leave his house this weekend to attend his senior prom. His high school coach had to drive him and kept an eye on the fire extinguishers.

Williams may make Miami proud one day, and not just because he had 18 tackles against FSU. But for now, the questions will come like clockwork.

"With the right program and right structure, he'll be fine," Coker said.

Could be. But it shows how warped the system has become when a school official has to go around convincing people that anyone with 10 arrests belongs on any college campus.

And what's really sad is there are 116 other coaches who'd love to be in Coker's place.
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I would be interested in a break-down of the marginal cost vs marginal utility of upper-echelon problem kids like WW, MoC, Randy Moss, etc. Obviously, I'm oversimplifying, but in Clarett's case, we got a NC, consequently higher publicity, positive and negative, and all the other additional +s and -s. Moss single-handedly pulled Marshall onto the national stage. Donnan had done a great job, but the country at large had no idea about Marshall. Are they worth it, from a measurable perspective? Are they more worth it for some schools than others?
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