Austin Ward of the KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL reports today on the legal status of former Tennessee football player Nu’Keese Richardson, who SbB reported last Friday posted of video of himself and two friends on the web and linked it to his Twitter account.
The clip, posted on Twitter and first reported by the website SportsByBrooks.com on Friday, shows North Carolina State defensive back Jarvis Byrd and Richardson’s friend Kaalum Williams in a Florida Wal-Mart joking about stealing T-shirts and using a stream of vulgarities and derogatory language.
Richardson is the cameraman and posted the video himself, but he has since denied that anything was stolen and no charges have been filed - which is important since that would likely be a violation of his probation for his part in the attempted armed robbery that led to his dismissal at UT last fall.
Ward also has reaction from special counsel for the Knox County District Attorney’s Office John Gill on the video.
Special counsel for the Knox County District Attorney’s Office John Gill was made aware of the video on Tuesday, but that by itself isn’t enough to lead to any sort of punishment for Richardson.
“At any rate, there is no basis for us to take any action at this point,” Gill wrote in an e-mail to the News Sentinel.
Meanwhile North Carolina State defensive back Jarvis Byrd will also apparently not face any criminal charges stemming from his appearance in the video, which included him talking about stealing a shirt and then removing a t-shirt from its package and putting it on inside a Wal-Mart.
Joe Ovies of WRAL in Raleigh reports:
An NC State spokesperson told WRAL they were aware of the video and that Byrd said he did not steal merchandise. N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien has already met with Byrd and the issue will be handled in-house.
Nobody seems all that enthusiastic about investigating whether Byrd actually paid for the shirt, and I don’t blame them. The colossal embarrasment of the video is far worse than the legal implications. At least for Byrd. (Richardson could actually face prison time if caught committing a crime.)
As I’ve told many people since I broke the video on Friday, this story has never been about a serious criminal situation - I made no mention of it in my original post. It’s more about the appalling anti-social behavior displayed by the three young men.
The video is actually a wakeup call to Richardson and Byrd to get their acts together and recognize the possible consequences of future lapses in judgement. Based on their actions on a video they (astonishingly) wanted their friends to see, outing the tape may have been the best thing that ever happened to them.