Tell me if this sounds familiar: News has recently come out that a first day Lions draft pick has been involved in legal trouble in the past year. No, I'm not talking about Jordon Dizon, the Lions second-round pick who was arrested six days before the draft. Instead, I'm talking about first-round pick Gosder Cherilus.
Cherilus was sentenced to one year of probation on Wednesday for his role in a bar brawl that happened last July in Boston. Cherilus and one of his teammates at Boston College (DeJuan Tribble) were at a bar when a fight broke out between a part-owner of the bar and a patron. Cherilus and Tribble, who was drafted by the Chargers this past April, intervened to help break up the fight, but this is where the story takes a weird twist.
Rather than simply separating the people in the fight, the patron alleged that Cherilus and Tribble started beating him up and it really isn't just an allegeation at this point. Both Cherilus and Tribble were charged with a single count of assault and battery as well as a single count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. To go along with that, Cherilus has to pay $52,000 to the victim to help pay for medical bills that arrose from the incident.
I don't buy the story that Cherilus was simply trying to break up the fight one bit. He told the Boston Globe that the lesson he learned was to "not to try to break up any more fights." It wasn't that you shouldn't beat the crap out of someone or put them in the hospital, but instead that you shouldn't break up any more fights. Maybe I'm being too harsh on him and don't know the entire story, but could someone explain to me why it is necessary to beat the living crap out of someone when breaking up a fight? Wouldn't getting in between the two people fighting have been enough?
Gosder Cherilus will contribute to the Lions this season as he likely will be the starting right tackle, so you can't fault Detroit for picking him. However, you do have to wonder if the Lions knew about this incident. If they did, then fine, they took a chance on someone with known character issues. If they didn't, well, then it's just another sign of how mediocre the franchise is. Pro Football Talk points out that news of this incident came out shortly after it happened, so if Detroit didn't know about it then they're not very resourceful.
I hope this isn't a recent sign of things to come, but the Lions are leading Pro Football Talk's second annual "Turd Watch," which gives points to teams that have players, coaches, or employees that get in legal trouble. In the first edition of the Turd Watch the Lions were one of four teams that didn't have a single point, and already this year they're up to 30. Yikes.