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Originally published December 13, 2011 at 02:11p.m., updated December 13, 2011 at 03:04p.m.

KU basketball player Ben McLemore arrested after failing to appear in court for minor in possession case

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Ben McLemore, a Kansas University freshman basketball player who is ineligible to play this year, was arrested on a warrant Tuesday morning for failing to appear to court.

According to Douglas County District Court records, McLemore, 18, received a ticket Nov. 4 from a state Alcoholic Beverage Control officer for being a minor in possession of alcohol. The officer alleged that McLemore was found with a Red Bull and vodka at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St.

The freshman from St. Louis was given notice to appear in court Dec. 6, but a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest when he didn’t show up, according to court records. According to Douglas County Jail records, a sheriff’s officer arrested McLemore on the warrant at 11 a.m. Tuesday on campus. At 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, McLemore posted $500 bond through a bondsman and was given notice to appear in court Dec. 27.

The NCAA in October declared McLemore, as a partial academic qualifier, ineligible to play in games in the 2011-2012 season, and, according to the ruling, he would be allowed to practice beginning in January.

“Ben was arrested today for missing a Dec. 6 court date, which is obviously not acceptable. Ben, not 21, was given a citation earlier for possession of alcohol at Abe and Jake’s, a local Lawrence establishment. He exercised poor judgment,” KU coach Bill Self said in statement. “He also did not let anyone know that he had been cited and had a court appearance because, certainly, we would have made sure he was there.

“This will be a learning experience for him and probably a fairly costly one. Any other discipline will be handled in-house. He should begin practicing with our team when grades are turned in (following the fall semester).”

Comments

nate cleveland 2 years, 4 months ago

if he didnt have a ride to court he shoulkdve RAN to the courthouse if he really cared.

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nate cleveland 2 years, 4 months ago

I agree that people make mistakes. But when you get into trouble you have to face it or it will never go away. I hope he learns his leason this time and doesnt have to be taught again because he wont last at KU if he doesnt

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TexasHawk44 2 years, 4 months ago

This isn't a great sign. The citation is one thing but not showing up is not real bright. Hope he likes the inside view of the doghouse Self is going to be pretty pissed with this one.

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Lance Hobson 2 years, 4 months ago

Ben, be good. Do your homework. Call your mom. Go to bed.

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Kc Ticketguy 2 years, 4 months ago

To everyone saying this is no big deal...

This is why it is a big deal for this kid.

http://blog.kcticketguy.com/2011/12/kus-ben-mclemore-gets-arrestedwhy-this.html

Kansas can be pretty tough on underage drinking.

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tom123kufan 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope him getting caught with this at an early stage in his career will straighten him up. Lesson learned..hopefully..

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Justin Carlson 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't by the "This is what 18 year old college kids do card" bull $hit ! You are at the University of Kansas the mecca of college basketball, and one of the top recruits in the nation.

You bet your arse you are held to a higher standard than any other average "18 year old college student!" Your education is free! You room, meals, and life is paid for!! You get to play in front of 16,300 every home game 90% of the games are on nationally TV.

When will these spoiled ass college kids stop taking for granted the gifts God gave them!

I was a 3 year starter at a KCAC college football school and did not do anything that would jeapordize my scholly, my relationship with my coach, my parents or my teammates.

Players these days have taking everything they are given for granted and it drives me insane!!

I for one would love to go a whole seaon with reading headline on ESPN "Another KU incident!"

Grow up and be a man! Appreciate the gifts you have been given and never take them for granted!

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 4 months ago

Noooooo! So stupid.

That said, he's a yougin'. These things happen.

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studio 2 years, 4 months ago

Funny how the sinless love to talk about "dumb" on this board. Activity generally doubles with pontificators who have never made a (public) mistake. Ben, you can stick this dragon lick from adoring fans in that mental file of "Avoiding/Tolerating Public Overreaction". Stay the course and remember, Little Brother Jayhawk.

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grrttweaver 2 years, 4 months ago

at least it wasn't some girly drink.

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Jared Grillot 2 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm... MIP is a ticket. Failure to appear because I didn't want anyone to know I got a ticket is an arrest warrant, jail, bail, and STILL have to go back to court. Underage drinking? Kinda dumb. Getting a nice ride in the black and white, the mugshot, and the wonderful press just because you didn't want anyone to know you got a ticket? Really freakin' dumb. Now, instead of diversion-and-done, it's a big deal. Compounding dumb with extra dumb.

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danno1313 2 years, 4 months ago

Stay out of clubs, go to bed!!!

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Jayhawk_4_Life 2 years, 4 months ago

It's a damn MIP...75% of college kids either have gotten one or know someone who has gotten one...stop blowing this out of proportion..keep your head up Ben!

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calijayhawker 2 years, 4 months ago

You become ineligible and now this. Come on Ben! You haven't even stepped onto the court and already your screwing up.

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CaramelMacchMan 2 years, 4 months ago

Sooner than later! Get it fixed bra!

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jayhawkaloogie 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's hope his decision to skip court is no indication of his decision making on the court that counts. As we've seen from Taylor, stupid off the court sometimes translates to stupid on the court.

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jhwkfan162515 2 years, 4 months ago

Damn it, Ben, all the good publicity we've had with bringing in Charlie Weis and beating Ohio State, and then you go screw it up by doing something asinine like this...facepalm

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Kc Ticketguy 2 years, 4 months ago

I just don't understand this. I have been in Lawrence Municipal dozens of times and they are very easy to work with... This just amazes me. I mean come on people just call a lawyer and get stuff like this taken care of before it ends up in the newspaper and on espn.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Great, now his mom will be saying "I told you to go to Mizzou!"...not realizing he could have gotten into alot worse crap in Columbia.

To me, this is a college kid making a minor mistake by getting caught with alcohol in public. The bad twist is not showing up for the court date. I'm sure Self made BMac a hella lot wiser after about 30seconds...

Im not worried. And this is a public university, not BrighamYoung or TeetotallerState, meaning--why would the MIP portion of his transgression really surprise any mainstream adult here??? Go to court Ben, pay your dues, and be smarter. You got a bright future...take charge of it!!!

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Vernon Riggs 2 years, 4 months ago

Bootlegging Old Grand-Dad with Kentucky stamps out of my dorm room, setting fireworks off in the elevator at JRP, stealing a pizza hotbox full of pizza from Pizza Hut, turning over a Datsun (it was the 80's) in Aggieville, getting knocked down by a water canon (same night) by Riley County PD, earning a 1.0 gradepoint average my first semester (retook every class) that was my freshman year. Thank God there was no internet to show how stupid I was at 18-years. MIP seems pretty minor.

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tical523 2 years, 4 months ago

Scrolling on the ESPN ticker.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

BenMac,

Andrew White is coming.

You better correct this, or you will be gone.

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JacquesMerde 2 years, 4 months ago

The drinking part is baloney. I was a PFC at Fort Bliss, Texas, when 18 and boozed whenever possible. I couldn't vote but I could drink since I was not in Kansas or the USA very often. Not taking care of the citation he was given was stupid, but then many 18 year olds aren't very wise to the world. Apparently the Lawrence, Douglas County, or Kansas law enforcement officials enjoy catching KU players in the wrong. Or do they just enjoy catching young kids?

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Bob Forer 2 years, 4 months ago

As much money as we spend on support staff for the athletes you would think there is some flunkie in the athletic department who could take on the job of making sure athletes appear as scheduled for court. Ben wasn't the first athlete to be cited to appear, and he certainly won't be the last.

A while back they ran an article on the AD staff who checked up on athletes to make sure they were attending class. isn't appearing in court just as important as attending class?

In the last few years there have been a handful of athletes who failed to appear in court. Its getting kinda old, and I think our Athletic Director needs to step to ensure these minor embarrassments don't happen again.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 4 months ago

As much money as we spend on support staff for the athletes you would think there is some flunkie in the athletic department who could take on the job of making sure athletes appear as scheduled for court. Ben wasn't the first athlete to be cited to appear, and he certainly won't be the last.

A while back they ran an article on the AD staff who checked up on athletes to make sure they were attending class. isn't appearing in court just as important as attending class?

In the last few years there have been a handful of athletes who failed to appear in court. Its getting kinda old, and I think our Athletic Director needs to step to ensure these minor embarrassments don't happen again.

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Andini 2 years, 4 months ago

Drinking as a freshman?? Who knew??

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IdahoJHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Hope that was sarcasm. Otherwise you are painfully stupid.

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Self better kick this kid out of here. No KU basketball for him. KU doesn't need another Brady Morningstar, what a dud he was. Why is it, Self is getting these lowlife kids to come here and pull something like this. Seems like KU doesn't care what type of kid shows up to play basketball. There are some good kids here but, where does Self get off with this moron stuff.

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Lance Hobson 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, he didn't get the much coveted "partial qualifier" moniker by being an Einstein. I do wish someday we'll get a heady point guard like Jaque Vaughn or Aaron Miles. These blank checks can be frustrating.

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Clarkeee22 2 years, 4 months ago

Seriously guys. Calm. Down. That's all

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 4 months ago

Snoozer .. who cares? No recruit is going to say, "Hmmm .. McLemore got caught with alcohol, better not go to KU." Perhaps getting caught now will discourage this stuff when he actually is being counted on.

Not preferred, but really no big deal.

He didn't hurt anyone, he wasn't driving. Not being an apologist here, but this mistake is a minor one.

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REHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Ben, ya gotta act more responsibly. This Kansas hoops scholarship could be worth millions to you in the near future. The possession charge was one count; missing the court date is another. You really should not get yourself into a 3rd bind anytime soon. That said, good luck with your workouts with the Hawks. Stay busily focused and intent on helping the squad advance to the Final Four next season. Unless you blow the opportunity, you should become an essential ingredient and noteworthy performer.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't really care that he was drinking. Nearly every college freshman drinks. He should have just gone to court and put it behind him.

The thing I don't like is seeing "Kansas player arrested" on national sports websites. That kind of stuff brings negative attention to the whole athletic program.

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 4 months ago

This kid is nothing but trouble. Get rid of him now.

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SaltyJayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

You guys are missing the biggest problem in this situation.. he was at Abe and Jake's... that most likely means he's a creeper.

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djhawk75 2 years, 4 months ago

Here we go again. Same story repeated over and over, but still, some kid has to let it happen to him before he learns the lesson. This better not be an indication of what's coming next year.

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djhawk75 2 years, 4 months ago

Here we go again. Same story repeated over and over, but still, some kid has to let it happen to him before he learns the lesson. This better not be an indication of what's coming next year.

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IrishDaddy 2 years, 4 months ago

The Traditional continnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnues.

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 4 months ago

Pure ignorance and laziness!!!!! Way to go, Benjamin!!!

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oldalum 2 years, 4 months ago

Probably blowing off steam because he's frustrated to not be playing basketball and because his finals were over. Bill said in the article that he would start practice once his grades were in, which I assume will be next week sometime. I don't envy him that first practice.

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waywardJay 2 years, 4 months ago

You would have thought he would have flushed a bunch of Marijuana down the toilet at and NBA Rookie Symposium or Had Numerous parking tickets that he never paid, or Shoot a girl in the Butt with a bb gun.....

Oh Jayhawk fans, Are we really sooooo hypocritical that we are going to throw a kid under the bus for things most of us do significantly worse than On a day to day basis....

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Jeffery Barrett 2 years, 4 months ago

What the F*** is wrong with these stupid kids?

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Shawn Marshbanks 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm not happy with Ben to hear about about this but at the same time I know what it was like when I was 18 and 19. Although being an athlete you would think you wouldn't put yourself into harms way. Hope he has learn his lesson and I do like how Self remains to keep such a good composer. I'm sure Ben is't gonna like what Bill's course of action to this.

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Shawn Marshbanks 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm not happy with Ben to hear about about this but at the same time I know what it was like when I was 18 and 19. Although being an athlete you would think you wouldn't put yourself into harms way. Hope he has learn his lesson and I do like how Self remains to keep such a good composer. I'm sure Ben is't gonna like what Bill's course of action to this.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

All kidding aside...he did get kicked out of a prep school for some unrevealed violation, but he really is a good kid from everything we have seen during his time in St.Louis and he fought virtually his entire family and group of friends to come to Kansas and he is a hellava ball player as well.

I'm sure I never did anything like this during my time at Kansas. Of course, I was there in the sixties.

You know what they say, " If you can remember the sixties.....you weren't there!!!!"

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tical523 2 years, 4 months ago

Did he think that if he did not show up coach wouldn't know? Must have, because he HAS to know coach would be Real pissed if he got a mip and not show to court. LOL C'mon Man!!

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Prece1 2 years, 4 months ago

Judging by the reaction to this, I'm grateful that I wasn't under a giant microscope when I was 18. I'm surprised stuff like this doesn't happen more often with college athletes. We all know the high percentage of college kids that drink, most of them underage. When they do it, it's normal college behavior. When an athlete does it he's an idiotic immature thug. Many people hold these guys to higher standards than they do themselves. Stop putting college basketball players on such a pedestal. They're overgrown kids who put a ball through a hoop. Honestly the worst thing about this was missing court, that's where he's helping everyone make a mountain out of nothing.

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hailtoku 2 years, 4 months ago

You would think that there would be enough people around him (i.e. coaches, players, tutors, trainers, etc) that there would be no way he misses something this important.

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chicagojayhawk87 2 years, 4 months ago

I really don't think this is that big of a deal. He made an immature and stupid mistake by missing court, but in the end he will definitely learn from the mistake and hopefully won't be drinking next year when he's actually playing. The real question to me is how did the word of his citation not make it to the coaching staff?

Also I love how this makes front page on ESPN college bball but if this were some Appalachian State player it wouldnt even be an issue. People love to hate on KU.

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Soccermonkey06 2 years, 4 months ago

Drinking in college? The world must be coming to an end.

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manginodrh00lz 2 years, 4 months ago

You're going to need that Red Bull after practice. Wind sprints Ben...wind sprints.

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KU_alum_2001 2 years, 4 months ago

Where's Mr. Miyagi when you need him? "Ben-san, you stay focus!"

Sighhhhh....

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flyingfinn 2 years, 4 months ago

Whether or not we believe 18 should be the legal drinking age its a moot point, its not. Whether most of us drank in college and some got caught and others did not is a moot point, it is still the law. The point here is this young man got caught and part of growing up is accepting responsibility and when you do get caught you appear for your court date and you advise the coaching staff immediately for help and advise. Will you be punished yes, but probably less so than not reporting it.

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BainDread 2 years, 4 months ago

"The officer alleged that McLemore was found with a Red Bull and vodka..."

Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? Maybe somebody slipped the vodka in his Red Bull when he wasn't looking. Looks like Ben has been tried and found guilty of the original violation in the Jayhawk Fandom Court of Law. And yes, perhaps I have been reading too many John Grisham novels.

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Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 4 months ago

He should have been more responsible about his court date, but the fact that a full grown man can get in trouble for drinking in this country is ridiculous.

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KansasComet 2 years, 4 months ago

Somebody either sold it to him or gave it to him. It wasn't moonshine, so I doubt he made it. Two wrongs don't make a right.

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Hurinfan 2 years, 4 months ago

I was afraid of his conduct when we recruited him. This isn't giving me any confidence.

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StreetSampras 2 years, 4 months ago

This is multiple things... What people are forgetting are that these are college athletes who are experiencing the college life as they should. Granted not going to court is quite ridiculous, MIP's are given at a very high rate in almost every state. I live in Nebraska and myself have had problems with underage drinking laws. Either way it's easy for most of you guys to judge.... This type of thing happens. Not going to court on the other hand is very stupid lol.

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martyks 2 years, 4 months ago

When Bill Self says, "it will be handled internally." he usually means steps. I have witnessed a player running up every step in Allen Fieldhouse, making his way around the entire arena... then, as soon as he was done, he was thrown into full court scrimmage. Ouch! Good luck, Ben. What doesn't kill you, makes your legs hurt like the blazes.

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hbjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

At least Ben is going to class. My 6 News spotters tell me he can be seen walking around Wescoe beach with Overland Park's finest on Wednesdays . . .

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martyks 2 years, 4 months ago

It was a well kept secret that Giddens was involved in a bar fight downtown. During the melee, someone's gun fell to the floor. Giddens picked it up and took 6 shots from 20 feet away into the crowd. Everyone was lucky it was Giddens doing the shooting. He didn't hit anyone or anything. (yes, bad joke... and very old)

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 4 months ago

well at least it happened now...and i mean now as, he won't affect the play on the court.

it's a great lesson to learn...and you know HCBS will make him pay dearly in practice. just a dumb thing to do.....the drinking, yes, but failure to appear in court was worse..and not telling your coaches was double worse.

we'll see how he does in the 2nd semester...when he's actually expected to be a part of the team in practice. if he can't make it through that, then he'll be gone....we wouldn't be able to trust him.

You've got another shot at this Ben...don't blow it. Rock Chalk.

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master16 2 years, 4 months ago

giddens stabbing, brady's DUI, sherron's elevator situation, the morris twins shooting people with bb guns, and the countless taylor suspensions... and now this. when will it stop??

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Gregor Southard 2 years, 4 months ago

Actorman, LJW is just trying to keep you from embarrassing yourself. Why would you like to come off as a jilted high school girl?

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kirkhinrichflow 2 years, 4 months ago

OMG a college student underage drinking! i don't believe this!

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Jayhawks Rock 2 years, 4 months ago

Come on BenMac! Step up to the plate. This does not have to be a defining moment (towards the negative) for you! I look forward to seeing your progress as a Jayhawk. Just like in basketball, you have to put in your time for good things to happen. Work hard in school, work hard on the court, and fix your mistakes.

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William Blake 2 years, 4 months ago

Better stick with shots, BMac... no lingering evidence!

Hang in there, BMac. Only another 330 days until you see game action!

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actorman 2 years, 4 months ago

That was supposed to be all caps, BTW. Of course I knew that the LJW Nazis (and yes, that's extreme, I realize) would never deign to let the caps through.

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Carter Patterson 2 years, 4 months ago

Are the courts in Lawrence full of KSU graduates? Is it at all possible that they quietly let somebody know in the AD when court dates are so that they can be handled?

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Rock_Chalk_NYC 2 years, 4 months ago

No excuse for the no-show.

The drinking age law is also completely ridiculous. 18 to serve, 18 to be served!

Nonetheless, he got caught. Show up, pay the fine, take your punishment.

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Alex Berger 2 years, 4 months ago

What kind of underage student drinks alcohol in college... this is ground-breaking.

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IgnorantYokel 2 years, 4 months ago

You'd think the athletic department would have a designated tell-me-when-you-get-a-notice-to-appear-in-court person to make sure this didn't happen. At least a policy to tell a coach. Sheesh.

In any event, don't be too hard on BMac. Kid's an absolute STUD. Can't wait to see him next year. :)

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Andrew Moore 2 years, 4 months ago

Well. Learn from this. Grow from this. This really isn't as bad as the Morningstar DUI or even the Bergland assault. There are worse things. At least its not pot.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 4 months ago

That's just wonderful! (sarcasm) Nice! (sarcasm)

Good grief, just when I thought all the negative news was going to cease for awhile. Wasting away in (no, not Margaritaville---Larryville!). Unbelievable. Please Ben--make good on a second chance, if you get one.

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 4 months ago

He's a Kid too, as we all have been. If getting caught with a red bull & vodka was my worst failure while on this planet I'd be pretty happy. Ya...and once upon a time, I missed a court date on accident too when I was 18.

Let's see how he responds and rebounds before we castigate the kiddo.

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 4 months ago

How'd he get caught and why weren't the coaches on his butt for not taking care of this violation.... Not the end of the world but for self's sake, please get it taken care of....I'm really looking forward to you playing next and practicing with the team next month...

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STLJayhawk10 2 years, 4 months ago

lol abe and jakes eh? bet it was a thursday night. cant go in that place over age on a thursday without 100 under age kids asking for drinks.

really cops can go into any bar in lawrence and catch underage kids... cough hawk cough

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Jeremy Bolinger 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm actually suprised there isn't more of this happening.

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Brandon Pope 2 years, 4 months ago

And if you are going to get caught with alcohol as a minor, can we please try to do it without painting such a classless picture? I mean, red bull and vodka? Can you get anymore cliche-college-frat-boy than that? Get a ticket for possession of a nice Merlot and then meet your court date for being an (slightly more sophisticated) idiot.

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 4 months ago

He's about to make a mountain out of a molehill.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Oh, for God's sake!!

Ben, what the heck are you thinking??? You keep this up and you may end up the best Kansas player who never played a game.

Red Bull and vodka!!!??? This can't be good!!!

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Brandon Pope 2 years, 4 months ago

Why do these college athletes always fail to appear in court? It is not a suggestion fellas. If you do something stupid, go get your community service and be done with it. Unbelievable.

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jgkojak 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, looks like even if he were on the team he wouldn't be playing any time soon!

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