Loren Hargrove is innocent.
And I want to believe Hargrove will ultimately be proven innocent of drug trafficking charges. I really do.
But this doesn t look good.
If you re not familiar with what s going on, let s get you up to speed. Hargrove, a BGSU football captain last season, was arrested Monday in Botkins, Ohio when police found two kilos of suspected cocaine in his 2007 Chevy Tahoe that was sitting in a hotel parking lot. The going rate for such an amount, so I ve been told, is about $200,000. Hargrove faces 10 years in jail on drug trafficking charges and an additional 10 for drug possession charges. Also arrested was former BG football player Melvin Cole, who didn t amount to much during his short-lived career with the Falcons.
My heart says Hargrove was a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That would explain why he refused to exit the premises when a hotel employee told him to leave. But my heads speaks differently, as I ve never really bought into coincidence or conspiracies.
Am I shocked? No. Nothing shocks me anymore. I guess that comes with the territory of being a journalist. But had you told me a BG football player would be arrested on drug trafficking charges, I m not sure Hargrove would have immediately come to mind as a possible candidate. He doesn t play the part. He s friendly, well spoken, and intelligent and disciplined enough to graduate college. Yes, he broke an NCAA rule during his first year on campus and was suspended from the team. I m not going to divulge the details, but I suspect most of you would shrug your shoulders if I told you what he did to get in trouble. It wasn t that bad.
I first met Loren in July at the MAC Media Day in Detroit. He was polite and when asked about his team s tough season in 2006, he said, I m not going to let that happen again. This is a guy who was named a team captain despite having modest credentials. He obviously earned that honor on the practice field and in the weight room. The younger guys on the team, notably Chris Wright, gravitated toward Hargrove. It was Hargrove that Wright confided in when he (Wright) was ruled academically ineligible a year ago. I m not sure anyone on the team was more respected than Loren.
When I met Loren in July he was just wrapping up an internship at a TV station in Toledo. He said he d like to one day report on sports.
I hope he gets that chance. But this doesn t look good.
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