Disciplinary troubles dogging Wildcatsby Multiple Authors on Sep. 09, 2008, under Sports
Arizona should be celebrating its 2-0 record, the football program’s best start since 2002.
Off-the-field issues, however, are tarnishing the success.
Arizona backup receiver Terrell Reese has been charged with three misdemeanor counts after being arrested early Saturday and accused of having double the legal blood-alcohol level.
He is one of four players suspended indefinitely by UA coach Mike Stoops since May.
Reese, 21, is charged with driving under the influence, for having a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more and for an extreme DUI with a concentration of 0.15 or more, said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, a UA police spokesman. No felony charges are expected, Alvarez said.
Reese, upon being transported to the UAPD, was tested twice at 0.174 with a breath analyzer, Alvarez said.
“I am very disappointed in his actions,” Stoops said about the sophomore. “We are still in this business to help people. Hopefully he will learn a valuable lesson with this.”
Before the arrest, Reese was held out of Saturday’s win over Toledo for missing classes.
“He will practice with our scout team,” Stoops said. “He will be suspended for two games and after that it will be my decision on how focused and committed he is to helping us win.”
Reese was stopped at 3:19 a.m. Saturday after officers observed his red VW sedan backing out and hitting a UA tutoring office at 1610 E. Sixth St., Alvarez said.
Slight damage was detected, Alvarez said.
Reese’s vehicle also drove over the small island where the air and water hoses sit at a nearby convenience store, Alvarez said.
Reese, according to police, got out of his vehicle, looked at the damage, got back inside and attempted to leave before being stopped by nearby police.
Reports indicate Reese was cooperative, and was later ticketed and driven home by the officers.
A court date is pending.
Reese, who caught 20 passes for 202 yards last season, was battling with freshman Juron Criner for playing time this year.
In the last five months, three other UA players have been suspended.
Projected starting defensive end Johnathan Turner is awaiting a court appearance on sexual assault charges filed in May.
Turner has not been taking part in team-oriented issues.
Cornerback Mike Turner has been suspended for the rest of the season for undisclosed reasons.
Projected starting defensive tackle Lolomana Mikaele is suspended indefinitely for the violation of team rules. The sophomore did not suit up for the first two games.
Stoops has not had many serious legal issues involving his players since taking over four-plus years ago.
He has established a council of players to deal with team issues internally for other related problems, such as academics and showing up late for meetings.
“Good teams expect to play well and be accountable,” Stoops said. “This is what good teams do. The accountability has to be there. Our players are doing a better job of cleaning it up themselves.”
Stoops has complained about internal disciplinary issues in the past, regarding players fulfilling their responsibilities.
“We want to be a discipline team. We have made a lot of strides in that area,” Stoops said. “We have seen when we lost some of that discipline how it hurts our team.
“Whether it costs us winning game or whatever, it has to be some checks and balances of what you do. We are not going to tolerate that type of behavior, if it is not going to class or whether it is breaking team rules, or selfish acts during plays or games. There’s no room for that in a team.”
Stoops said he constantly reminds his 100-plus players, including walk-ons, to be careful of their actions. He conceded it is not easy to control everything.
“I don’t send people out watching and seeing, but eventually they are going to get caught,” Stoops said of those who defy the system. “Eventually things happen. If you play with fire enough, something usually happens. We are not the first team. It has happened before.”
Several players, including offensive lineman Joe Longacre, agreed with the actions taken. “It is unfortunate, but as a teammate you have to tell him we have to hold you accountable,” he said of Reese.
By John Moredich, Sheryl Kornman