Call it a bonding exercise.
On Feb. 25, members of Texas A&M University-Commerce football team stole as many copies of the university's The East Texan newspaper as they could, as it carried information about two players being involved in a drug bust.
Crime information officer Lt. Jason Bone went and spoke to the head coach of the team, Guy Morriss, probably expecting to hear a condemnation of the act. Not so fast.
"I’m proud of my players for doing that," Morriss said, according to the paper. "This was the best team building exercise we have ever done."
You don't hear that every day.
Perhaps he shouldn't be so proud, suggested athletic director Carlton Cooper. Cooper didn't have very flattering
words for the football team or their theft of the papers.
"I don’t think they are smart enough to do this on their own," Cooper
Ouch. Sounds like these players would have their hands full with the
The story gets juicier. A few days later, Bone was in the office of the university's assistant chief, Bryan Vaughn, when he ran into Morriss. The two discussed how taking a free paper could be considered theft, then Bone informed Morriss that only the first copy is free. Anyone who takes more than one must pay 25 cents per copy.
Morriss fired back, saying, "I guess I will be the first one out of the door in handcuffs, then."
Morriss later said he was speaking about taking multiple copies of the paper that held a story on his hiring to send to family and friends.
Bone found video of football players Stephen DeGrate and Dakota Burch stealing papers from the university's police department and has witnesses claiming another player, London Hamilton, swiped a few from the student center.
Morriss refused to apologize on behalf of his team, stating that the team would suffer any consequences collectively, given the team committed the action.