It appears that further details on D.J. Byrd and the Thursday antics of our basketball team are coming out. John Wadas said it best when he tweeted today that the biggest crime was that they were at Where Else. Everyone who goes to Purdue knows Thursday night is a Cactus night, and the safety of the piano bar with Bruce Barker never causes any problems.
Here is the full story from the Journal and Courier:
The arrest of Purdue University basketball standout David Jonathan "D.J" Byrd stemmed from a disturbance at Where Else Bar involving teammate Kelsey Barlow, police confirmed this afternoon.
Lt. Gary Sparger of the West Lafayette Police Department said Barlow had been at Where Else, 304 W. State St., and either left or got kicked out of the business.
Barlow then came back, believing he left his wallet there. Where Else, however, refused to let him back in.
Sparger said Barlow left and returned later accompanied by Byrd and other unidentified members of Purdue's basketball team.
This resulted in some type of altercation, and West Lafayette police were called to Where Else, Sparger said.
Byrd's arrest on suspicion of public intoxication came when an Indiana State Police trooper happened to be driving by, Sparger said. Byrd was the only person involved in the disturbance who was arrested.
So what can we take from this? Follow me after the Jump to see:
- Dammit Barlow!
- No, seriously, if Byrd is suspended any length of time this is the second year in a row where Barlow played a significant role in a suspension. This time it is not his own. So, Dammit Barlow!
- Coach Painter has not issued a statement of any discipline yet, and expects to say more within 24-36 hours.
- If you lose your wallet and possibly get kicked out of Where Else, just leave it and come back later when you're clear-headed.
As expected, the situation is as clear as mud right now. There is no word on exactly what D.J. did, but he was booked to Tippecanoe County Jail at 3:35 a.m. and left five hours later. The Indiana State Police were right there to witness whatever it was that Byrd did, but judging from his mug shot he wasn't overly intoxicated, so it seems relatively minor.
That said, the city of West Lafayette is noted for public intoxication citations for the smallest of reasons. There have been stories (possibly apocryphal), of students too drunk to drive falling asleep in their cars with the engine off, only to be cited for public intox despite doing the right thing and not driving. we also can't forget the legendary judge Zeman from my time on campus, who was a dark warning against getting an alcohol-related crime.
That said, as someone who lived at Purdue for four years and more than once left an establishment or two on State Street in a mild state of intoxication it is not that hard to avoid getting arrested. All it takes is following one simple rule: don't act the fool.
Again, I have no idea exactly what D.J. did, but it was obviously enough to draw the attention of a passing state trooper, and that's all it takes. Even if you had two sips of watered down Miller Lite you can get arrested for public intoxication then.
With what few facts we have I think we can say this is relatively minor. First, there was no report of Byrd being disorderly with the state trooper or resisting arrest. Second, coach Painter will handle the matter, as evidenced by Barlow's suspension last year for a non-arrest. Third, most people with a public intox in West Lafayette find it is a minor annoyance to go through the legal system, but it takes something extraordinary to result in jail time. Byrd is just a higher profile case.
If I were to guess, I'd say we're looking at a one game suspension at most. It may trickle down to a half or so this coming Sunday. I highly doubt you will see D.J. start against Michigan State now, but he could sit the entire first half and come in during the second half.
In the grand scheme of things this is a troubling, but minor incident. It is not on par with Tarrance Crump driving drunk, hitting a pedestrian, and leaving the scene which resulted in a year-long suspension. It doesn't seem as bad as whatever Barlow did last year to get suspended, be it throwing a ball rack at Ryne Smith, throwing Ryne Smith at a ball rack, or going all Magneeto and willing the ball rack to fly at Smith with his mind.
All we can do now is await word from Coach Painter, likely coming some time tomorrow.