Jenna Laine at SportsFanLive.com reports on the largely unknown criminal past of former Abilene Christian offensive lineman and NFL prospect Tony Washington.
In May 2003, Washington was convicted of having sex with a relative that multiple NFL and college sources say was his 15-year old biological sister. The act was consensual, according to his college coaches and two NFL scouts, who spoke to him about the incident.
The sister does not wish to speak publicly on the case, according to Washington’s agent, who added that the siblings are now on good terms and talk often. Washington received five years probation and did not serve jail time.
Thanks to his extraordinary physical ability, the 24-year-old Washington was eventually taken in by Trinity Valley Community College coach Mark Sartain and Abilene Christian coach Chris Thomsen. Washington’s projected as high as a second-round selection in the upcoming NFL draft.
Laine balances the piece between those coaches, who are sympathetic to Washington’s plight, and unnamed NFL scouts, who provide the necessary reality check.
The lengthy piece does give plenty of background on Washington, and he mostly comes off as a fine, upstanding citizen. But there’s one gaping hole that author of the piece inexplicably left unexplored. A hole that one of Laine’s NFL scout sources brought up:
One NFL scout, who asked to remain anonymous, isn’t so sure. He points to the fact that the 24-year old has already been divorced, which could suggest a pattern of broken relationships. “I worry about this kid. Whether it’s that again or something else, he has a history of serious problems,” he said.
“What disturbs me is that I don’t know if he sees anything wrong with it,” the scout added. “He said where he comes from, this kind of thing happens all the time. I don’t think he’s at all ready for the rejection he’s about to face once people find out.”
From the overall tone of the piece, that comment comes off as non-sequitur, and there’s no follow from Laine. For that reason, it’s impossible to be convinced that Washington is well-positioned to handle scrutiny that soon awaits him.