Monday, December 27, 2010

Court date for KU basketball player Mario Little moved to May


The municipal court date for Kansas University senior basketball player Mario Little has been delayed from Jan. 5 to May 19 after his attorney recently entered an appearance for him.

Little, 22, who has been suspended from playing in games by coach Bill Self, faces four counts of battery, two counts of criminal damage to property and one count of criminal trespassing, all misdemeanors.

He was arrested early on Dec. 15 after an incident in the 1400 block of Ohio Street, and police accuse him of committing battery against four people, including pushing a 22-year-old Lawrence woman, who police identified as his girlfriend, into a sink. Police said no one was taken to the hospital as a result of the incident.

Little, a red-shirt senior from Chicago, had initially posted bond and was given notice to appear in Lawrence Municipal Court in January. He also apologized in a statement released to the media Dec. 15.

City prosecutor Jerry Little said Monday that Lawrence attorney Al Lopes — who played basketball for KU from 1964 to 1966 — had entered the appearance, which as standard practice prompted the clerk’s office to enter a not-guilty plea and schedule a new trial setting date.

Jerry Little said Monday he had not yet heard from Lopes but that between now and the May 19 court date the defense could either apply for diversion, set the case for a trial or attempt to work out a plea agreement.


Andy Tweedy 11 years, 11 months ago

I've always felt as long as the athlete gets treated like a normal person, ho harm no foul. I'm not sure if that is the case here, but I sat in a court room a while back and watched a judge clear his docket and it seemed like it was just for the sake of clearing his docket. So I'm not too sure this isn't status quo.

sammyr2 11 years, 11 months ago

So what you're saying is that youre not a lawyer, but you did stay at a Holiday Inn last night?

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 11 months ago

Well I did make a hydrogen fuel cell that actually produced more energy then what went into it..but then I went to Motel 8 and...What was I saying?

Scott Oswalt 11 years, 11 months ago

"Mario plays a key role in KU winning the National Championship"

Are you being serious?

We need Mario about as bad as the Chiefs need Brody Croyle.

David Howell 11 years, 11 months ago

I agree with you. What we need is for our bigs to stay out of foul trouble and our guards to avoid turnovers to win the championship !

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 11 months ago

Being a senior, and with the court date in May, either Mario will be allowed to play immediately or not allowed to play the rest of the season. None of the 9 game suspensions, etc. need to be considered at this point. KU, HCBS or any entity connected shouldn't have the right to base a suspension on anything other than the court's ruling. To pass judgement now would only be an emotional reaction.

Let him play and let the legal system work!

Don't let him play and send a message.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

i'm anticipating...wait for it....wait for it....mario little is fun (you know it's coming)

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 11 months ago

Really glad that the charges are misdemeanors but pffff! is not the right reaction and I surely hope Mario doesn't think so either. There was a high probability that things could have gone a lot worse. No I wasn't there but I've heard from many sources that domestic disputes can change from minor to much more serious in a matter of minutes.

Now it's up to you Mario. Do the right things, say the right things and I believe HCBS will give you your chance.

You sacrificed a lot last year and you deserve another chance imo.

And I'd like to think Lawrence and Douglas CO take these charges more seriously than what's been stated here, although I think a lot of sarcasm was the basis.

kennethst 11 years, 11 months ago

Mario Little seems like a very nice young man in his interviews and the way he relates to his teamates. He obviously made a big mistake.

If he was a constant troublemaker.....I would say this incident should have him dismissed from the team. But he isn't.....and even took a redshirt for KU.

I say bring him back. A good kid like this deserves another chance.

WilburNether 11 years, 11 months ago

"A good kid like this"?!?

Good kids do not commit crimes like this. ] The idolizing of jocks here is disgusting.

Theutus 11 years, 11 months ago

I'd like to see you catch your wife/gf sleeping with another guy... And then see how you react...

Pushing a couple of people out of the way and yelling at someone is pretty damn standard if you ask me...

Hell, i think he showed a lot of restraint to be honest. Has nothing to do with him being an athlete either. Get off your high horse. You aren't perfect.

Kyle Crenshaw 11 years, 11 months ago

King David slept with another man's wife, got her prego, and then murdered her husband and is still seen as a man after God's own heart. Yeah I went Biblical...what're ya gonna do about it!?

the fact is. everyone messes up and makes mistakes. i'm impressed Mario didnt do anything even more extreme.

WilburNether 11 years, 11 months ago

From one perspective, it is hilarious to watch fools making excuses for inexcusable criminal behavior.

From another perspective, it is utterly disgusting.

So let's merge the two, and call them disgusting fools.

jaybate 11 years, 11 months ago

I want him allowed to play, but the tough question Self and KU face is this: are they ready to hear the ESPN announcer say, "Mario Little is entering the game for Marcus Morris.He is a 6'7" senior from Chicago with four counts of battery on him."

moaf 11 years, 11 months ago

I think he should be allowed to play. Court date in May, why keep him out, being a senior, then? doesnt make sense to me. aaaand yeah, we need as many men as we can get if we wanted to go to Houston.

fansincewilt 11 years, 11 months ago

Mario did not use good judgment. But, he has offered his regrets and has apparently offered complete compliance in the matter. He has already sat out several games and I doubt the incident is going to amount to much by the time it is said and done. Only Coach Self can determine if there is sorrow and lessons learned from the action. I personally hope to see Little back in a Jayhawk uniform. I am all for consequences for actions but also restoration. Sometimes a slap on the hand is all that is necessary. Maybe this is one of those times. I really hope so. However, Little's life is what is important. I hope he visits Simien and gets some good advice.

Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

Okay, I'll say it if no one else will.

So far, the occurrences are allegations, or at least speaking legalistically. Here's the rub. Mario has already publicly acknowledged wrongdoing. When you have an admission of guilt then no longer can one be judged innocent. Yet there is room for fairness. A mistake doesn't mean the end of the world and a coach should not levy the stiffest penalty possible from the team standpoint. And yet a message HAS to be sent that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Based on what the coach knows, I think it's fair and equitable that the team give a consequence of suspension for part of the season. Whatever is fair. 5 games. 7 games. Whatever, based on coaches discretion. But to say at this point, "Okay, Mario...lace em up cause the trial ain't til May" is short-sighted. Maybe even stupid.

AsadZ 11 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. I love Little and eager to see him play ASAP. However, HCBS should do the right thing for the team, program and KU. HCBS must not set double standards here

Jim Roth 11 years, 11 months ago

He admitted to behaving stupidly. He didn't admit to breaking the law. Your proposed compromise (suspension for X games) seems fair, given the legal outcome won't be known until after the season. Since he's still considered part of the team and is practicing again, I suspect he'll be back on the court for Big 12 play.

Eric Dawson 11 years, 11 months ago

Mario apologized for his bringing a negative light on KU and the program, but he never admitted to being guilty of the charges against him. As you note, this is a "legalese" distinction, but a very important one. The only reason for the attorney's appearance in court today was because it (quoting the above article) "prompted the clerk’s office to enter a not-guilty plea and schedule a new trial setting date," and in the process delayed any court action on the charges until after the NCAAs.

To the rest of your comment -- you're right as far as (1) reinstating Mario simply because any trial will be after play is finished is wrong, and in that (2) it's up to HCBS. What any of us think in re: appropriate punishments-- since we do NOT know what HCBS knows -- is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that Mario has already missed two games (USC and Cal) because of his suspension, he will most likely miss Wednesday's game against UT-Arlington. Whatever else HCBS decides to do, those games will be factored in.

There are only a few instances in life where "1 strike and you're out" is the rule, and this doesn't qualify as one of them in my eyes. Self needs to make a decision quickly to be fair to Mario, who may be deserving of a second chance. He seems to deserve one from what I know, but I, like you, am not HCBS.

gongs4ku 11 years, 11 months ago

Interesting fan reactions in the comments. I don't think he should be thrown out of school, but I also don't think he should be allowed to play, after hearing the descriptions of his behavior.

I guess different people have different moral standards. I'll be ticked off if I see him in a KU jersey again.

Theutus 11 years, 11 months ago

So you want TT kicked off the team as well right? And Mk Morris?

They both committed assault (granted Morris was shooting someone with a bb gun and TT was actually hitting people)...

Regardless, both admitted to it. Don't be a hypocrite... Kids make mistakes and he didn't do anything that bad at all... He deserves a second chance.

mandomax 11 years, 11 months ago

TT committed assault when he threatened the football players (pre-fight) and battery when he punched them (in fight)

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 11 months ago

the court date has been moved down the calendar four months...that tells you something right there.

something will be worked out, and he'll be back on the team fairly soon. it's just that simple.

rwhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Actually, this is common practice in Douglas county...a preliminary hearing, the judge entering not guilty plea, a new date 4-6 months out is set. There is no 'conspiracy theory' or 'a case of an athlete getting preferential treatment' going on there.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 11 months ago

Just to be accurate in his media release he only apologized to his teammates and nobody else. I found that very odd. Before the end of this he needs to come full clean and be contrite to the entire Jayhawk nation. From all accounts Mario is a great guy. Whatever Self feels is appropriate I am in agreement.

Steve Kubler 11 years, 11 months ago

It would be the "right thing to do" to come clean and tell all except for the fact anything he says publicly would be twisted and used against him during the upcoming criminal trial or the possible future civil suit. In this day and age with legal system we have and the tendency for cases of this sort to turn into money makers for the parties wronged you have to watch your comments or end up paying out the nose.

If he had totally lost it and beat up the girl and others I'd say kick him out and good riddance. If it was a case of him finding his girl friend with another guy getting mad and shoving people around until he had a chance to have his say then I say let him play soon. My guess it is somewhere in the middle and beings we most likely don't have all the facts it is hard to say what the right punishment is. I am just going to accept that HCBS knows more about this than I do and be happy with his decision.

Cobweb, yes I have daughters and no I do not want them abused. However I also expect them to not cheat on their boyfriends/spouses. There is more than one kind of abuse and it it just doesn't go one way.

cobweb 11 years, 11 months ago

Sickening comments from almost everybody. Do effing basketball games mean that much in tyour shallow lives? Maybe your daughters will be abused someday.

Matt Brown 11 years, 11 months ago

No one was abused. Calm down. And the fact that you felt the need to read and post on here would indicate you're also a bit hooked on the Hawks. I trust the system will dole out the correct punishment.

Dan Cook 11 years, 11 months ago

The fact you attack folks with "shallow lives", and suggest those that disagree with you should have their daughters abused, makes it difficult for me to even spend time on you. Since you have already determined that there was in fact "abuse", I will venture a guess you buy-in to nearly everything you read in the newspaper.

First, no one was even hurt, so let's not go overboard on the physical abuse stuff. Secondly, the young lady wishes the police hadn't been involved and no charges had been filed at all. Yes, I know. Lastly, I would likely agree with those that think ML should be suspended for the remainder of the season had he truly beat the crap out of someone and done bodily harm in the process. The facts will show he didn't.

I don't know how Coach Self will handle this. There's no easy solution. There will be those that find fault with either decision. If anything, his absence probably eases some of the playing time decisions for the coaching staff, so you could say Mario not returning is easiest for them.

I hope Mario gets the chance to play again. I feel he's deserving of some good fortune on the court during his KU career and I don't think this one occurance of poor judgment should result in disqualification. It's not becasue I feel it would make us a better team, etc.

lbranchcrew 11 years, 11 months ago

OK! So you get a +1 for saying the same things I did in a much shorter fashion.^^ Does that make you more or less shallow than me?

lbranchcrew 11 years, 11 months ago

Any contact between two people when cops are called is considered assault; that includes pushing, shoving, punching.... There is a wide range of actions considered assault--I'd wait for the facts. Headlines followed by little to no factual information are designed to make people jump to conclusions. Their intention is to keep you reading so the less factual information, to them, the better. If a young girl were "abused" and others assaulted by a collegiate athlete, someone would have most likely ended up in the hospital (see Dunn; Baylor). It could it be that, in a house full of her friends, several people were pushed, not shoved, whilst Mario attempted to question her about the other gent. Because, to the police, every push, shove, or punch is considered an assault; a man could in theory, grab my lovely wife's rear (also lovely IMO) at a bar; and when I push him, guess what, he could file assault charges. I do not claim know all the facts and my final opinion has not been made. What i am saying is this... A guy walks in on his lady at two in the morning; shes with another guy; and then the guy follows the girlfriend out of the house to discuss it, instead of beating the other guy senseless. It would seem to me then, based on the limited facts given, that Little showed great restraint or at least attempted to (Mario = 6'5", 210; Not a wimpy kid). Unfortunately, we don't have more facts at this time--someday we might, or maybe not.The other guy could have been there studying, it was finals week; and if so, then Mario overreacted. Heres the kicker though... we don't know. What many people on this post are expressing is that one is innocent until proven guilty, thank you Founding Fathers.^^ Verdicts happen in a court of law, where the facts are presented and weighed. I implore you to please keep an open mind and form your opinion of Mario when the facts are known. Yes, Mario could have abused the girl; but at the same time, isn't cheating a form of emotional abuse--girls can be abusers as well. If you don't think this is true then you are either delusional or only see girls(women) as victims; and that is more concerning to me than your premature assumptions on someones character. I'm not saying I know anything about anything; but I have chosen to wait for ALL the facts before I write off Mario Little as a person and an athlete. Side Note: if he does indeed turn out to be a chauvinistic a-hole... then I will buy you a steak dinner. At that point you and I can revel in our debasing of his character together. I mean seriously, its not like people get arrested on false charges ever right? Maybe you think all that are arrested are guilty. If so you might give, North Korea or some other Communist nation a try; could be a better fit for you. If our justice system deemed guilty all arrested; I fear we would all be in jail for one thing or another.

Kit Duncan 11 years, 11 months ago

Actually, all the things you refer to and what Mario is accused of committing are "battery". "Assault" is when you threaten someone in a manner in which they expect to be injured, such as when you raise your fist while making threats of bodily injury.

Your point that Mario may have inadvertently made contact with people while trying to question his girlfriend still constitute misdemeanor battery since no serious injury occurred. My concern is the police report of marks on the neck of Mario's girlfriend. Those marks would NOT be inadvertent, in my opinion, as well as her being shoved into a sink, causing minor injuries.

While I certainly believe in one's innocence until being proved guilty, and wish to see Mario play as much as anyone else, it is a black mark on the KU program. Actions such as Mario is accused of, must not be condoned and deserve serious consideration of dismissal from the team.

That Coach Self has not dismissed him is a positive and it may be that after a couple more missed games Mario will be allowed to rejoin the team. Look for a very contrite Mario Little before the cameras if and when he is allowed to return.

lbranchcrew 11 years, 11 months ago

Now... As a fanatical basketball fan with a shallow life... (really good way to get people to listen to your point; insult them... can i borrow that?) Good old Bill Self makes the decisions when it comes to the Jayhawks. Self has proven on multiple occasions that he will remove a bad seed from the garden(see Giles, Giddens). Self has made the decision to support Mario based on the facts he was given (you think as coach he got more info than we did?) and his personal interactions with Mario. News Flash! Coaches spend a copious amount of time with their players so I'm willing to bet he has a good feel of Mario's character. One of the many reasons why i trust Self... he has proven he doesn't allow those that aren't willing to grow and mature to infect the rest. People make mistakes; some learn from them; some don't; most, deserve a second chance. Bill seems to think Mario deserves a chance and thats good enough for me. But hey this is just the opinion of someone with a shallow life.

hayjawk 11 years, 11 months ago

It is odd that the hearing is set so far into the future. Jerry Little said that Mario can apply for a diversion (a likely resolve unless he is inoocent and wants his day in Court)), which will result in the charges being dismissed if Mario will do community service, stay out of future trouble and pay a diversion fee. Thus no criminal conviction record.

This is the same legal treatment ANYONE without prior arrests of a similar nature can expect for misdemeanor charges. Mario is not getting preferential treatment by the Municipal Court.

Coach Self publicly stated that Mario is a good person. That is good enough for me as Coach knows better than anyone. If Coach thinks he deserves another chance, so be it. Keep in mind that Coach has in the past sent others packing when he felt that they were not of sound character.

ChicagoJHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

The charges make this whole things seem way worse than it really was. What would the rest of you do if you found your girlfriend with another guy at 2 or 3 in the morning?? I'm sure you would all be cool, calm and collected, and just walk out of there like nothing happened. I mean, that's the impression that all you people seem to give, that you're a bunch of saints that never made a mistake, especially when you were in college.

This could have ended up a lot worse than it was. If you want to suspend the guy for a few games, fine, but don't kick the guy off the team. He's busted his a$$ for the last 2-3 years and does not deserve to kicked off for something like this.

Theutus 11 years, 11 months ago

This is essentially how I feel.. He actually showed a lot of control if you ask me...

All he did was push some people out of the way in order to yell at the girl for cheating... Big deal.

He's done nothing in his entire career to suggest this is typical behavior, so I'm perfectly willing to rack it up as an isolated incident that was the result of being put in a very very very tough situation (catching your girlfriend with another guy).

ChicagoJHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Exactly! Pushing somene is considered assault. When you read the headlines, it makes it seem like he stabbed someone or something.

I agree that he showed a lot of control. He was able to restrain himself a lot more than most people would.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 11 months ago

I am hoping all KU athletes and other schools take notice the lesson to be learned from this situation.

Leave the damn jersey chasers alone on an emotional level. They ain't worth it.

jchief40 11 years, 11 months ago

If I walked in and caught my girl cheating on me I admit I too might do the same thing.

dynamitehawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Call me crazy, but If I played basketball for Kansas, and I found my girl cheating on me... I would be in bed with her sister, her best friend, her mom, her mom's best friend, her mom's best friends daughters, and their friends.

David Howell 11 years, 11 months ago

It is funny (hmm let's say SAD) how we hold our revered athletes to a lower standard ............. Says a lot for our society !

Khublai_Juan 11 years, 11 months ago

The difference between this situation and the one involving LaceDarius Dunn at Baylor is very interesting. Mario pushed his girlfriend into a sink and he's a "woman beater" and it's one of the most popular articles of the year. Dunn broke his girlfriend's jaw on both sides (they had to put in titanium plates) and the story only got 17 comments and they weren't near as vitriolic as the ones posted about Mario. I'm not sure if Dunn even missed any games for this or if he just got a short break from class and practice.

Ann Oneill 11 years, 11 months ago

I think he was suspended for 3 games, which is a joke.

Kit Duncan 11 years, 11 months ago

He missed the first three games of the season which were "bunnies."

kennethst 11 years, 11 months ago

Theutus and ChicagoHawk are right......I certainly would not react well in this situation.....neither would any of you. I'm not saying he was right.....but still. Men will be men.

packywacky88 11 years, 11 months ago

Who hasn't pushed a girlfriend into a sink at one time or another??? That shouldn't be called battery. I like the idea of announcers mentioning the 4 counts of battery every time he enters the game. Sounds intimidating and conveys a certain measure of toughness....even though it was just a girl.

packywacky88 11 years, 11 months ago

From what I've see and heard, Mario is no Giles or Gidden. Let Bill do what Bill does and support him. In Bill we trust. It is the smart thing to do.

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