Saturday, May 20, 2006

Jacksonville / UCLA RB Maurice Drew Named In Civil Lawsuit; Released On $30,000 Bail - Florida Times Union

Wow, what a way to blow a signing bonus, or at least part of it. Or, this could hurt the size of whatever signing bonus Drew might get. This story reveals that Drew may have been hanging out with the wrong person. I mean, who gets into stupid scrapes like this?

Civil suit filed against Drew

Jaguars rookie surrenders on an assault charge, is released on $30,000 bail.

By BART HUBBUCH, The Times-Union

Jaguars rookie Maurice Drew is included in a civil lawsuit stemming from an April incident that resulted in him being charged with felony assault Thursday.

Drew, a running back and return specialist from UCLA drafted in the second round last month, surrendered Friday morning in Los Angeles and was released on $30,000 bail. He's scheduled to be arraigned June 16.

Drew is charged along with Chicago Bears cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. and former college teammate Tyler Ebell for allegedly beating Sabzi Soroush, 25, at a Los Angeles-area restaurant on April 23, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Drew, Manning and Ebell each were charged with one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, a felony. Drew, who admits he was at the scene but denies any involvement in the incident, faces probation or 2 to 4 years in state prison if convicted.

Soroush, a UCLA student, also responded to the incident by suing Drew and the two other players in Los Angeles this week.

The civil suit, filed Tuesday, doesn't state the amount that Soroush is seeking because California law prohibits it, but his Los Angeles-based attorney said Friday that his client is pursuing punitive damages, and "they will be huge."

"This is truly reprehensible conduct, and it needs to be punished," attorney Aviv L. Tuchman said. "We're very confident in our case against Drew."

Drew's agent and attorney, Adisa Bakari, said Friday that he hadn't seen the lawsuit but considers it without merit. Bakari said he most likely would file a countersuit accusing Soroush of a frivolous claim.

"I'll say it again: Maurice Drew was not involved," Bakari said. "He was not out with [Manning], didn't witness the incident and went home once he saw the verbal altercation begin. The kid isn't stupid. This happened one week before the [NFL Draft], and Maurice knew to avoid nonsense like that. This will all come out in the wash."

A Jaguars spokesman declined comment, and vice president of personnel James Harris didn't return a telephone call Friday.

Tuchman said his client was eating at a Denny's restaurant near the UCLA campus when Manning began taunting him "for being a geek'' because Soroush was using a laptop computer.

When Soroush complained to a manager, Tuchman alleges that his client was cornered in a restaurant bathroom, then forced outside and beaten unconscious in the parking lot.

Manning was arrested immediately, but Tuchman included Drew in the lawsuit after interviewing witnesses. Tuchman said three witnesses signed statements that identified Drew as punching Soroush in the face and stomping him in the head.

Soroush is seeing a neurologist and might require knee and shoulder surgery because of the beating, Tuchman said.

Although Drew turned himself in this week, the Los Angeles district attorney's office confirmed Friday that it mistakenly said in a news release Thursday that the Jaguars rookie was arrested and released on bail the morning of the incident.

District attorney's office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the release, which received widespread national publicity, was incorrectly written by a junior staff member.

"It was our mistake, and it will be corrected," Gibbons said. "Drew was never arrested, but there was a warrant out for him."

John McCain Heckled At The New School in NYC - CNN

CNN reports that Senator John McCain was heckled at the New School. This video lampoons his appearance at Liberty University with Jerry Falwell, an extreme right-wing conservative. The CNN report follows the video.

McCain heckled at commencement speech
Some at New School booed, turned backs on Arizona senator

From Mary Snow

Friday, May 19, 2006; Posted: 9:19 p.m. EDT (01:19 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sen. John McCain was booed and heckled as he delivered the commencement address at The New School on Friday in New York.

The protesting students pointed to the Arizona Republican's speech last week at the conservative Liberty University run by the Rev. Jerry Falwell as proof that McCain clashed with the school's liberal ideals.

"McCain does not speak for me," read orange signs held by dozens in the audience, while dozens more turned their backs for the duration of McCain's speech. (Watch as students turn their backs on McCain -- 2:01)

Some students had petitioned New School President -- and former Democratic senator -- Bob Kerrey to withdraw McCain's invitation to speak, saying they didn't want the Arizonan to use their graduation ceremony as a platform for a potential run for president in 2008.

One student speaker, Jean Sara Rohe, tossed her prepared remarks to inject her own political beliefs.

"I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous and wrong, and I know that George Bush's agenda in Iraq is not worth the many lives lost," she said to cheers.

For his part, McCain stuck to his script, which was basically the same speech he delivered at Liberty University to a warm reception. In Manhattan, however, he was jeered when he told the 2,700 graduates and others in the audience that he "supported the decision to go to war in Iraq.

"Many Americans did not," he said. "My patriotism and my conscience required me to support it and to engage in the debate over whether and how to fight it."

McCain, who was both cheered and booed at the end of his remarks, did not address the hecklers, but Kerrey did.

"You heard and saw two acts of bravery," the former senator said after the speeches of McCain and Rohe. "There will come a time when you will have to answer the question -- will you stand -- not heckling from an audience where no bravery is required -- but will you stand and say what you believe when you know that heckling and laughter and boos will arise?"

Brianna Keilar's Now Anchoring CNN Saturday! I'm Watching Now!

Remember my friend Brianna Keilar, who at the 2005 NFL Draft said her dream was to be an anchor for CNN? Well, she's now hosting CNN Saturday, the weekend morrning show -- as I write this -- and if I can say so biasedly, is doing a pretty good job!

Last week, I saw her with Wolf Blizer on his show "Late Edition"

Wow, things can happen fast! I'm really happy for her.

Brianna Keilar Gets More Airtime | Brianna Keilar and Kyra Phillips | Brianna Keilar On CNN Saturday | Brianna Keilar Now CNN Anchor | Brianna Keilar At 2005 NFL Draft