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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hawkins sits 1 game

Cited by police, senior suspended

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Kansas University guard Jeff Hawkins, who was cited by Lawrence Police for leaving the scene of an accident Sunday morning after he struck another car while trying to cut in line at a fast-food drive-through lane, was handed a one-game suspension by coach Bill Self and served it Tuesday night against Baylor.

Hawkins sat on the bench in suit and tie in missing the first game of his senior season. He also publicly was reprimanded by Self, who informed Hawkins and the team of the suspension Tuesday at shootaround.

"I don't need to see the police report. All I know is he embarrassed himself and the program by just not being as responsible as he should be," Self said. "I'm not necessarily upset with Jeff because he had a fender-bender in a parking lot.

"I'm upset Jeff didn't handle it in a very mature manner. I don't think he acted his age in handling the situation after he and the young lady bumped into each other. There's no question. He didn't have a choice to admit whether he did it wrong or not. It was evident he did."

Hawkins, 23, was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and not having proof of insurance.

The 25-year-old Lawrence woman whose car was struck by Hawkins' 2000 Buick told police she was trying to pull up to the drive-through speaker at McDonald's, 1309 W. Sixth St., at 2:07 a.m. when Hawkins drove up from the right-hand side and pulled in front of her, striking her 2002 Kia Spectra on the front passenger corner. The woman, identified as Lindsey A. Frye, told police that when she got out and told Hawkins he had hit her, he blamed her for the collision.

Hawkins then went ahead and ordered his food, police said. Minutes later, an officer who was called to the scene stopped him as he was driving out of the parking lot, according to the report.

Hawkins told the officer "he had no idea" what happened and said his car didn't strike the other car, police said.

Police said the officer who stopped Hawkins did not have any reason to suspect Hawkins was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Self said he found out about the accident Sunday and spoke to Hawkins immediately after learning of the incident. He pretty much had decided on the game suspension Sunday but waited until Tuesday to tell Hawkins and the team.

"The incident is not a big deal," Self said. "But you have to accept responsibility for that when it first occurs. I think he probably could have handled it better and not worried so much about getting his food. That's put bluntly enough."

It's not yet known whether the incident will affect the diversion agreement Hawkins reached with the Lawrence city prosecutor's office in October 2005 after he was charged with having a stolen KU parking pass. City prosecutor Jerry Little could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Self said he had no idea if it would affect the diversion, but said that wouldn't have any effect on extending the game suspension.

"I would imagine I'll put some stipulations on him," Self said of the player, who also was suspended by Self during the 2004-05 preseason for undisclosed reasons and didn't make the squad's preseason trip to Canada.

"This is very disappointing to his family as well," Self said. "We all have had situations. All you have to do is act responsibly and maturely after situations occur."

Hawkins was unavailable for comment, but he had a quote in the game program about his senior season:

"I want to end on a positive note and not end with anything negative because I've had some negative stuff in the past. I want to switch that around and be remembered for the positive things I did."

Comments

erik4ku 13 years, 11 months ago

Hawkins needs to be removed from the team. This has to be his third strike. He has had plenty of chances and by now everyone should know that he lacks integrity and is a poor reflection of our University. Ever since Bill Self started coaching the character of our program has gone down hill. We might as well be the University of Miami.

seifer2653 13 years, 11 months ago

I think that Hawkins just made a mistake. He hit someones car on accident and he got a little nervous. It can happen to the best of people. I also think that Coach Self has done a great job with the team, and that he made the right decision in suspending Hawk for the game.

suzifrye 13 years, 11 months ago

I can see you are one of those band wagon fans, so get off. I don't at all think that Jeff should be removed from the team. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE makes mistakes form time to time and his mistakes have been very minor. And as far as the character of the program going down hill ever since Bill Self is just stupid to say. KU has very good character players, real good kids. I think maybe you should evaluate your character, and either stay on or off the wagon.

John Pritchett 13 years, 11 months ago

@erik4ku, can you really blame a coach for the behavior of guys he didn't even recruit? The only incidents I can think of that would reflect poorly on KU have come from Giddens and Hawkins, both left-overs from Coach Williams.

james dick 13 years, 11 months ago

Leaving the scene of an accident is not a small deal. He should be removed from the team and offered the chance to finish his education.

princess 13 years, 11 months ago

Come on guys, get off of your high horses. How many of us weren't idiots at some point during college? The only difference is that we weren't under the microscope like Hawk is. He effed up and he was punished accordingly. If it had been any of us, we would just deal with the police and no one at school would ever be the wiser. Heck, even your parents might not find out!

Save the "removal from team" punishments for people who do actual harm. Oh like say...cuttin' someone in a parking lot or beating one's partner, etc.

So in short...leave this kid alone and start thinking positively about beating Texas this Saturday. Your energies are far more appreciated there.

Ya freakin' nay sayers!

mom_of_three 13 years, 11 months ago

The University wouldn't punish any other student for the same crime, so why would you want to remove Hawkins from the team for a stupid mistake. The Coach made the right move by suspending him, now let the law take it's course.

cobweb 13 years, 11 months ago

Hawkins is a punk. He's had several episodes around campus in the past 4 years. He's bad news. Boot him.

byron 13 years, 11 months ago

if hawk was going to burger king i could see him being in a hurry-but mcdonalds? choose better food next time.

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