troutubanner.jpgParents, if your son is being recruited to play football anywhere in the state of Montana, you might want to check with Officer Friendly to see if they are, oh, perhaps currently being targeted by undercover narcotics agents as part of a sting operation.

And if they play DB, you might want to make sure they aren’t already in custody for drugs… or murder.

Last week, University of Montana cornerback James Leon Wilson was charged with murder in connection with the June 2 shooting of Kevin Smoot in Los Angeles County.

Smoot was standing in the driveway of his Lancaster home when he was allegedly shot by Wilson. (Yeah, but you should have seen how that punk was standing…) Smoot died at the scene. Wilson fled after the shooting.

The team did suspend Wilson indefinitely, eliminating Tom Osborne from any suspicion of coaching the Grizzlies.

The Wilson incident comes on the heels of a handful of incidents over the last year involving players from the other institution of academic excellence, Montana State University (not the Trout but actually the Bobcats). And the list is impressive.

—In May, former MSU wide receiver Richard Gatewood was arrested and charged with: conspiring to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, and cocaine distribution.

The best part? Gatewood apparently used money from his athletic scholarship to purchase cocaine trafficked in from California with the help of his brother, Randy. Start-up capital can be hard to get without solid management experience, so I’m almost willing to applaud the brothers’ entrepreneurial spirit.

Authorities estimated the pair distributed 11 pounds of blow between June 2005 and May 2007. The two plead not guilty on June 14, 2007.

—Former MSU redshirt football player John Lebrum and former basketball player Branden Miller and were arrested for the June 23, 2006 kidnapping and killing of known cocaine dealer, Jason Wright. Charged with deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence in connection with killing Wright and covering up the crime, the pair remain in jail on $1 million bail pending the trial scheduled for early 2008.

—After selling marijuana to a police informant, former MSU wide receiver Edward T. Sullivan eventually plead guilty to two counts of felony criminal distribution of dangerous drugs. Sullivan not once but twice sold an ounce of pot to a police informant in June 2006 (In a plea agreement, Sullivan got 30 days in jail, three years probation, and a $15000 fine).

—Two other former MSU players, cornerback Andre L. Fuller and cornerback Derrick L. Davis Jr were also charged with selling cocaine or marijuana to an informant working for Missouri River Drug Task Force investigators in June 2006.

They have both plead not guilty.

Oddly enough, all of the alleged off-field drug and murder incidents had what one might term “The Miami Effect” as the Bobcats posted their first postseason win in 22 years, beating Furman 31-13 in the I-AA championships last fall before falling to eventual champion Appalachian State in the quarterfinals (but of course there’s no way you can have a playoff in college football). The ‘Cats finished the season ranked 10th in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.

[Note to Charlie Weis or Mack Brown: apparently DBs play much better when super high.]

It’s pretty bad stuff all the way around, particularly the murder charges. The drug charges are a little more understandable and might actually be encouraging given the increasing insubordination of players across much of sports these days, as Bobcat players were simply demonstrating some coachability.

Previously, assistant football coach Joe O’Brien had been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.

Okay, that was back in 2004, but it does make a lot more sense than the other incidents as Montana just seems like more of a meth state.

And in Colorado they stab punters. Amateurs.

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