According to this report in the Star-Telegram by Deanna Boyd, who obtained the court documents, the ex-girlfriend who claimed much in her original charge against Fields is backing off. Why does this ALWAYS happen?
Fields, who was named the Big 12's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year last week, had been removed from the team while the police investigation continued. He turned himself in on July 24 on charges of assault with bodily injury of a family member.
The original affidavit said that Fields lunged at his ex-girlfriend in a domsetic dispute at 3:30 a.m. on July 20 in a house near TCU. The affidavit from that evening also said his ex-girlfriend believed Fields had a handgun. According to the police report, the ex-girlfriend told authorities that she thought Fields pointed at gun at her and said, "I should blast you!"
There is no mention in this report that the ex-girlfriend has backed off her claims that Fields struck her.
Fields admitted to being at the house, but denied ever assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
The original affidavit, while not flattering, just barely contained enough outs and ifs that if (when) this story changed TCU could bring Fields back.
A high-ranking TCU administrator told me last week that if any part of this report was true, there was no way they would bring Fields back. Now, however, this new report makes it possible for a return. If Fields did indeed strike his ex-girlfriend, how can they bring him back? They shouldn't. Regardless of the rampant rumors and allegations around TCU right now regarding the circumstances of that evening, to work aroud the type of assualt alleged in the original report is nearly impossible. Nearly.
If she had not recanted on the gun, there is no way for his return. With assault, as the Ravens are witnessing with running back Ray Rice, TCU can suspend Fields, send him to counseling, rehab him, etc. and ride it out.
The question is Devonte Fields worth the worry and the headache?
I wrote last week they needed to be done with The Knucklehead Era, and despite this expected change to this story the risk/reward is still too great. Fields is one of those guys who likely would be better served to get the hell out of town, and far away from whatever negative influences he carries from his youth.
Since he arrived at TCU, Fields, 20, has been a dynamic player who has had trouble with a variety of issues. He was the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year as a true freshman. Head coach Gary Patterson suspended him last season for a violation of team rules before he suffered an injury that ended his season.
The athletic director, Chris Del Conte, is a big believer in second, third, fourth or fifth chances. And he would be a big believer in second, third, fourth and fifth chances even if Fields was not good at sacking quarterbacks. That is Del Conte's personality for everybody, not just athletes.
Gary Patterson wants to win games, and help kids. Can you win with Devonte Fields if he is a distraction? If he returns, bet big they will hide him far away from any camera other than on game days.
Fields is already projected as a first round NFL draft pick in 2015, assuming he comes out early, and all TCU would have to do is "keep him clean" for the fall. He would then drop out to prepare for the draft, and would no longer be TCU's problem.
Fall practice is about to begin, and the PR door is open for GP, CDC and TCU to consider bringing Fields back for another shot.
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