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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Civil lawsuit against KU basketball’s Sherron Collins dropped

KU star Sherron Collins no longer faces legal trouble.

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The woman who accused Kansas University basketball player Sherron Collins of exposing himself and rubbing against her dropped a civil lawsuit against him, court documents filed Thursday morning said.

Jessica Brown, 36, filed the lawsuit against Collins, 21, in reference to a May 18, 2007, incident she said occurred in an elevator at Jayhawker Towers on the Kansas University campus, where she worked.

Brown was seeking damages in excess of $75,000 for mental and physical problems, but she agreed to drop the lawsuit as long as Collins agreed not to sue her for having brought the lawsuit, said Chris Burger, Collins' attorney.

"There was no money, no promises, no anything exchanged," Burger said.

Collins also agreed to drop his counterclaim against Brown, accusing her of defamation.

Collins maintained Brown's allegations were false and made with the intention to make the public think less of him.

"I've always known I was innocent," Collins said in a statement released by KU Athletics on Thursday morning.

"I'm glad it's officially over and I can now focus entirely on school and basketball," he said.

"This dismissal does not surprise me," said head KU basketball coach Bill Self. "I am happy for him that this is now totally behind him."

The civil case against Collins cannot be refiled, Burger said.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson declined to file criminal charges against Collins for the alleged incident, based on insufficient evidence.

Two calls to Brown's attorney, James Wisler, were not returned Thursday.

Comments

Sparko 8 years, 10 months ago

The problem, like 5decade, myself and others brought out at the time of the article was that it was inflammatory, suspiciously timed, and impossible to refute. Proving a negative is impossible. In such cases, one must defer to the accused. You can charge anyone with anything otherwise. All you have to do is share an elevator. Or say you shared an elevator. This was never going anywhere. It sounded like a scam. It was unproveable. It was out of character. So, it was given a lot column space!

5DecadeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

When will the LJW print an apology?When will Keegan apologize for the way he insulted many of his own readers?The LJW was ready to jump and print a story about an attorney's flatulance when this story first broke. When they finally realized that the case was weak and that they weren't going to be able to justify trashing KU or a KU player, they backed off. There are a FEW employees for the LJW that are good hard working people, but the senior managment and the Sports department managment have once again shown their bias. They've proven that they do not have Lawrence's best interests at heart.The LJW acted like the publicist in charge of defamation against Collins for Brown and her attorney. They blew this story out of proportion to sell papers. They sold internet advertising. When is the LJW going to apologize for blowing this story out of proportion?Taking advantage of a college kid by wrecking his reputation to promote your business is a sad and sickening business philosophy. There are PLENTY of better and more interesting stories to write, but the Lawrence Journal Inquirer would rather peddle sleaze.Will the LJW now help repair Sherron's reputation? Will they write twice as many stories about the GOOD THINGS he does off the court as they wrote about this oversensationalized story?I'm not holding my breath. That would require integrity in leadership at the LJW.

NH_JHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Truth is, nobody on this board (or at the LJW) knows what really happened that day and never will. Therefore, both parties continue to deserve respect which I think was Keegan's point.Having said that, I think Mr. Keegan went a bit overboard by calling people "neanderthals" and then cherry picking comments from posters like frompekka2sasha to drive home his point. http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/ju...

gthejayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Hometown, that's strike one. Read it again, digest, then swing again.

Ryan Wood 8 years, 10 months ago

Just because it couldn't be proven doesn't mean it didn't happen...only two people know if it happened or not, and they're not agreeing.

kansaspike 8 years, 10 months ago

Now that this garbage is over.What's the latest on Shady's high school "thing?"

KUSU 8 years, 10 months ago

like we are going to get a retraction.

frompekka2sasha 8 years, 10 months ago

KEITHMILES05- Why should I email Keegan directly? He never emailed me when he used my quote.

b_asinbeer 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree with 5DecadeHawk for the most part....especially the part about Keegan.

Vic Janeway 8 years, 10 months ago

We need to be at the Kansas city post posts to share this, we all agree here.

5DecadeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

JayCephExactly where did anyone suggest that someone should apologize for selling advertising? I said that the LJW should apologize for blowing this case out of proportion. Feel free to make up something else and find fault with it, but you'll only be finding fault with your own fictional fanasy.I appreciate how your other comments agreed almost verbatim with my many posts on this topic over time though. Nice to see that you agree with my position whether you really want to admit it or not.

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 10 months ago

Instead of blogging here directly email Keegan. He does have an email addy and probably will respond.

Lance Hobson 8 years, 10 months ago

That's great news! Now we can focus on reloading and having a great season. With all of the guys we may have coming in, it's probably best for Sherron to have a great season and declare for the draft. This certainly helps.

Joe Ross 8 years, 10 months ago

Ohio...Keegan didnt ignore the possibility of Collins' innocence by stating his accuser deserved respect. Your statements are glaringly wrong and THAT is inexcusable. Talk about inexperience...

Ryan Wood 8 years, 10 months ago

Johann--Objective minds can see that. Unfortunately, people obsessed with KU basketball translate Keegan's call to hearing the accuser's side of things as a hatchet job against their beloved point guard.Go back and read the column. Keegan didn't accuse Collins of anything. But he also didn't give Sherron the benefit of the doubt, and that's where a lot of you Sherron lovers take offense.Today's news does nothing to vindicate anyone as it relates to Keegan's column. Keegan wasn't proven wrong, because he wrote plain as day that he didn't know who was telling the truth.And to be blunt, we still don't know who's telling the truth. The burden of proof, however, was on the accuser and she couldn't come through. So that's that.

hometownhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Can anyone argue the fact that nobody outside of Sherron and Ms. Brown knows for sure whether the alleged incident happened? NO. You can postulate one way or the other, but it's really all just guesswork. The sad thing is, one of them is a scum-bag: either a sex offender or a character assassin. To label anyone either of those things without knowing for sure is not for any of us to do. And gthejayhawk, I'm not in any way saying Sherron is guilty, but if someone did something horrible to you but nobody else was around and there was no evidence, would you be content to just say nothing? Didn't think so.

Ryan Wood 8 years, 10 months ago

"2.b. the LJW releases the incomplete and partially inaccurate story to the wire services. "5Decade, what was inaccurate? And the "Breaking News" label is really being blown out of proportion. Yes, the incident happened more than a year earlier, but the court proceedings were developing. "Breaking News" is very appropriate, especially when dealing with a sexual assault accusation regarding one of the gods of Lawrence.

Joe Ross 8 years, 10 months ago

Amen, HowMuchRice...LISTEN PEOPLE...KEEGAN NEVER ACCUSED COLLINS OF ANYTHING!

Joe Ross 8 years, 10 months ago

THE ANATOMY OF STUPIDITY...1. an accusation is made against collins2. the LJW has to cover it, BEING A NEWS PUBLICATION (duh).3. ignorant readers/bloggers dogpile the woman before any information is known one way or the other.4. keegan, never accusing collins, pens an article stating the accuser deserves respect (duh).5. ignorant readers/bloggers dogpile keegan.6. the lawsuit is dropped.7. ignorant readers/bloggers once again dogpile keegan.8. sensible readers note that keegan never did anything wrong (duh).9. ignorant readers/bloggers dogpile sensible readers/bloggers.LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...BEHOLD STUPIDITY!!!!

gthejayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

HowMuchRice.That is an absolutely ridiculous statement. That is the exact perception that fuels this type of reporting (i.e. Duke Lacrosse). This whole "It's the seriousness of the charge, not the nature of the evidence" that has to stop. And on a side note, I think anyone who accuses someone of something like this, without any proof, should face criminal charges (Including attornies).

Rick Arnoldy 8 years, 10 months ago

Hometown, you're right - only Sherron and Ms. Brown know exactly what happened. But ignoring innocent until proven guilty, Keegan dragged Sherron through the mud for his own benefit. Considering that this is someone's life and reputation, that is inexcusable. I've disagreed with 5decade before but he is spot on in this regard. The amateurish "journalism" of the ljw borders on criminal.Ryan, you were always one of my favorites when you were at the paper but you've shown a couple of times now your inexperience regarding sensitive topics. Don't forget that your reporting will be viewed with the biased eye that you display in blogs. I realize that objective journalism is decaying but while opinionated posts may draw responses, they also destroy credibility.

Ryan Wood 8 years, 10 months ago

The LJW did not blow this case out of proportion. When the star of the national championship basketball team is accused of something like this, then fails to show up in court to defend it, a hometown paper like the LJW that hyper-centralizes its coverage around the University of Kansas better do a lot of work getting the story out there.And trust me, 5DecadeHawk, Sherron has more than twice as many stories written about him regarding how great of a basketball player he is, not to mention stories of him working with kids at basketball camps and shopping for Christmas presents for needy children (we seem to get that story every year). So your claims are essentially baseless and your axe is grinded to the damn bone by this point.

8 years, 10 months ago

"This dismissal does not surprise me," said head KU basketball coach Bill Self. "I am happy for him that this is now totally behind him."----That pretty much says it all.

sdoyel 8 years, 10 months ago

Not like we saw this result coming.... Screw all of you naysayers out there.

hutchjayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

But but....Keegan said we should listen to this chick. This must be a mistake.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 10 months ago

lawsuits weren't the only things dropped in this matter... eh heh

RedJay 8 years, 10 months ago

The Urnal World quotes message boards?!?!And prints sensational "news" defaming out little town's celebrities, based on the empty allegations of a janitor?!?!And THEN refuses to follow up when their sh*t story is exposed as a farce?!?!Why is anyone suprised? LJW, your "journalistic integrity" continues to amaze me.

rasta_meta 8 years, 10 months ago

Keegan is an idiot who should be ignored in the first place.

5DecadeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

THE CORRECTED AND MORE ACCURATE ANATOMY...1. an accusation is made against collins2. the LJW has to cover it, BEING A NEWS PUBLICATION (which is expected). However, the LJW misreports the incident by rushing the story to press and initially only reports the accuser's side of the story. 2.a. the LJW begins sensationalizing the story by listing it as "breaking news" even though the incident supposedly took place many months earlier and had no particular reason to run the story immediately without getting all the information first. The breaking news listing is also an obvious blatantly low class ploy to get extra web hits from Google News Search (and other search tools). The LJW has a history of favoring this tactic with stories that cast Lawrence and KU in a negative light.2.b. the LJW releases the incomplete and partially inaccurate story to the wire services. Since most national publications will consider most of the followup stories "minor",very very few will run any of the subsequent stories which give Collins side of the story.2.c. the LJW continues to run story after story after story that give very little if any new meaningful information. When boring legal documents get filed, the LJW runs another story as "breaking news." Most of these needless pile-on stories are listed as "breaking news." Internet Message board posters both on KUSports.com and many other national boards begin to ridicule the LJW's stories. They mock the LJW for running a story with satirical headlines like, "Attorney in Collins case flatulates and Lawrence conducts exclusive aroma evaluation." More and more people that care about KU and Lawrence are frustrated by the irresponsible coverage of this story by the LJW.2.d. knowledgable and respectful KU fans protest the constant drumbeat. They don't want the case tried in the press. Most posters recognize only 2 people know what happened in the elevator and most fans just want the legal system to handle the case, NOT THE PRESS! Some of us publicly post and request that the LJW stop their irresponsible behaviour and simply report the court's final decision when it comes. We request an end to the continually draging of Collins, Ms. Brown, and the Community through the mud.3. A very small ignorant few readers/bloggers dogpile the woman before any information is known one way or the other, and genuine KU fans post to renew the call for the case to be handled by the legal system, not in the press.

Trobs 8 years, 10 months ago

How was she gonna prove it? I think that's what caused the case to be dropped.

5DecadeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

  1. keegan ignores the genuine KU fans' postings and the best interests of the Lawrence community. He goes out of his way to quote some posts out of context which distort what most posters really are saying. He casts a broad endictment of ALL message board posters, whether they were posting stupidly or not. Keegan completely ignores the fact that he and Ryan Greene had control over the KUSports.com message board he was complaining about. They had the ability to delete posts and ban posters. Keegan neglects to mention in his article that he has the ability to clean up some of the ugly mess he and the LJW have made. He'd rather just whine about it than actually clean up his mess. Keegan pens an article stating the accuser deserves respect. Keegan makes no real attempt to differentiate whether the accuser deserves respect if she is the one not telling the truth. Most choose to reserve judgment and wait to give respect to the person who is telling the truth in the case. 5. knowledgeable and frustrated readers/bloggers dogpile keegan. The consistent pattern displayed in this case and the Brandon Rush case fiasco reporting have created an environment where many readers no longer trust the LJW, and especially Keegan, to tell the truth.6. the lawsuit is dropped.7. Readers/bloggers interested in fairness call for keegan and other LJW leadership to apologize for their role in making a bad situation worse.8. Blind sycophant readers claim that keegan never did anything wrong, and insult anyone that says otherwise. The sycophants refuse to even acknowledge the legitimate arguments of those they disagree with. Real KU fans with open minds choose to ignore the personal insults and choose to focus on the issue. They see the light and recognize the truth when they read it. 8.a. One sycophant reader posts a very biased and distorted chronology of events that leaves out the important factors that caused so many to become so frustrated and even angry with the LJW.9. Knowledgeable readers/bloggers correct the sycophant readers/bloggers. A corrected, more complete, and more accurate chronology is posted. While more detail could have been listed, the post was already too long for comfort, and apologies for the necessity of the long post are extended to all. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...BEHOLD A MORE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE HISTORY!!!!

infinatehawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Honestly, did you guys ever attend any college level classes? I would have to agree with JRoss1972. I am beyond a huge Sherron fan, however, I did read the article in question more than once, and if read with an objective mindset, I don't see the real issue. Stop treating players like gods who can do no wrong, that is what causes the "Larry Johnson" complex.

frompekka2sasha 8 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Keegan- Now that you have read this story you should do the right thing and print a retraction of the article you earlier posted. I'm not going to dwell on the particulars but you used one of my quotes in your article. In fact... you used only a portion of my quote to make your story sound better. It was like you were preaching from a pulpit and you never answered any of your critics who asked you to consider BOTH sides of the this fabricated story. I've never seen a writer use blog entries in an article but that part was fine with me. I was more worried about "how" they were used, which was unfair to say the least. MAY I HAVE MY APOLOGY? Be a man. I'm a man. I'm not 40 but I'm a man.

CBaller13 8 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

100 8 years, 10 months ago

the AP needs to print an apology too. They made him look like a fool in an AP article in the LA times a few weeks ago (while praising KU's quickly rebuilt team).

5DecadeHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

I love it when Ryan Greene proves that I'm correct by posting a personal attack. He knows that I'm correct, and he cannot successfully argue the issue on its merits.

JayCeph 8 years, 10 months ago

Well, to be frank, Ryan Greene is spot on.I don't think it requires a manifesto of rebuttals to refute an inane arbiter of vitriol. The LJW didn't lose any journalistic integrity for basically saying that the plaintiff needed to be heard in order to clear the air (one way or the other).I'm as close to being a KU homer as anyone and I still didn't feel comfortable with everyone taking sides without having any facts (at all) about these allegations.As it stands, it would seem as though Sherron was in the clear the whole time. I find it amusing that Jessica Brown dropped her suit against him as long as he promised not to sue her for suing him. (this makes my eyes hurt...)This is the most telling bit of the whole event. By default, that claim makes her look like an opportunist, a thief and burgeoning character assassin.Personally, if that had happened to me, I would want everyone I know to rake her reputation through the most poisonous social setting imaginable.However, since it didn't happen to me, all I can do is cheer on my Hawks and continue to read the LJW.(sheesh... apologize for selling advertising... wtf)

smitty33 8 years, 10 months ago

Kick Butt 5Decade.... The LJW and especially the UDK need to realize they are NOT TABLOIDS. Stop grilling the accused!!

meremy 8 years, 10 months ago

"best interests of the Lawrence community"I'd love to hear 5DecadeHawk explain our best interests. I'm especially eager to hear from such "knowledgable and respectful" member of our community. You need help. Time to get over yourself."Keegan makes no real attempt to differentiate whether the accuser deserves respect if she is the one not telling the truth."You must be kidding. Seriously, I can't believe you actually wrote that. I would think that such a "knowledgable and respectful" member of our community could figure this one out on his or her own.You need help. Time for you to move on.

GrayHawker 8 years, 10 months ago

There is actually more here that has a bearing on the case then hesaid-shesaid statements. It doesn't take much in terms of contact to transfer human DNA. Especially the type of contact he was accused of. Not only were tests ran looking for evidence of contact, but even more sensitive test were ran and nothing was found.When only two witnesses are involved, this is more then a tie-breaker in the legal system. It is a slam dunk.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Debating who did what further is pointless.Either she lied...or she told the truth and thinks the justice system is so dysfunctional that she can't get justice after trying for a long, long time.A case can be made for either and both leave a stain.As from the beginning, the ONLY major player involved saying in plain English Sherron is innocent is Sherron. The word's "I believe he's innocent" and "I believe he didn't do it" have never appeared as quotes from Bill Self's mouth that I recall, only things like Self is "not surprised by the outcome." There are a lot of potential reasons not to be surprised by the outcome. Some do not include "he's innocent." Some do. The LJW reported this story fairly.It is a small tragedy that Sherron's reputation had to be smeared.It is a small tragedy that this woman's reputation had to be smeared.No one should be crowing about anything.No one won here.Everyone lost something.Everyone.

Rick Arnoldy 8 years, 10 months ago

Jayceph, read that article again and tell me Keegan wasn't taking sides. http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/jun/17/keegan_accuser_deserves_respect/I've not been the victim of assault but family members have been. I know the seriousness of the charges. I've also seen people falsely accused and, unfortunately, this is one crime where just the accusation is enough for some people to cry "guilty". Keegan and the LJW have just plain be irresponsible in how they covered this story.

JayCeph 8 years, 10 months ago

'Kay. I reread the article. Keegan takes a stance but not sides. There is a difference.He addresses the people that would purport to know the verdict before the accusation ever sees the light of court. He calls them neanderthals. Fair enough. It sounds right in line with the unruly crowds that villafy a woman for being a witch during the puritanical days of Salem.It would seem that he calling them out in an effort to quiet the storm 'till the facts can come to bear on the situation.He defends the accuser's right to prove her claim (which she clearly could not do in hindsight). The onus is on the accuser, not the accused to make their case.Again, nobody really knows... blah blah blah. But this I do know, part of the stipulation to drop this case was a protective clause that would keep Sherron from continuing his suit against her for what he says are trumped up charges. That is pretty telling.I'm a firm believer that nobody should be able to sue anyone unless they are confident in their ability to win the case. In my world, the loser of a lawsuit would have to pay for all legal expenses... on both sides.This would make the (potential) plaintiff think twice before ever filing charges against someone or something (a company, an institution, etc.) due to the ultimate financial burden levied at the end of the affair.Tort reform? Maybe. Responsible actions? Certainly.The article was fine. The readers are the ones that seem to carry around a lot of spirited baggage.

Rick Arnoldy 8 years, 10 months ago

Fair enough, jayceph. I know fans overreact and calling them out may have been warrented. Calling them names as a "journalist" was uncalled for. Keegan could have been more professional.

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