If you woke up yesterday morning thinking, “I wonder if people actually get arrested for an MIP, or if they simply get cited in some way and move on with their lives,” then congratulations for getting your answer: they get arrested! Or at least, they do if they’re incoming Mizzou freshmen by the name of Jeremiah Tilmon.
- The Trib: Jeremiah Tilmon arrested for minor in possession
- Post-Dispatch: E. St. Louis standout arrested for minor in possession
- The Missourian: Missouri basketball's Tilmon arrested Friday for minor in possession
Tilmon was pulled over at 1:42 a.m. on Tiger Avenue south of Hospital Drive for a lane violation, MU Police Maj. Brian Weimer said. Tilmon passed a field sobriety test but was still booked, per the department's "zero-tolerance" policy. Tilmon was processed at MU Police Department before being released on a summons.
Word from Cuonzo Martin is that this is being handled internally, which ... that’s fine. It’s always silly for an athlete to be caught in a situation like this — as always, never leave your (or someone else’s) place of residence if you’re going to be around something like this — but this is a teeny tiny story. Reporters went through the rounds with quick writeups, and I’d be surprised if even a quick suspension came of this.
Of course, reporters in the area did go through the motions here. And that was a bit too much for some.
The writers get such a kick when MU athletes are arrested. Almost as though it's a chance for them to reinforce their beliefs.— Marcell Frazier (@FederalFrazier) June 19, 2017
Teenager with a beer is covered like watergate. Frats spiking drinks, committing assault, and encouraging underage drinking is a non story.— Marcell Frazier (@FederalFrazier) June 19, 2017
Your fake outrage is showing.— Marcell Frazier (@FederalFrazier) June 19, 2017
A couple of things.
1. I completely understand the sentiment here, but reporting on fraternity misdeeds is a constant. Here’s what I found in the first two pages of googling “missouri fraternities columbiatribune”:
- December 20, 2014: Six MU fraternity members arrested for hazing in hide-and-seek game
- February 20, 2015: MU fraternity members charged with disturbing the peace in hazing incident
- February 21, 2016: Explicit email draws fast reaction from University of Missouri officials
- October 3, 2016: University of Missouri suspends fraternity over hazing incident
- October 4, 2016: Kappa Alpha leader failed to protect pledge hospitalized after hazing incident, mother says
- October 5, 2016: University of Missouri fraternity accused of hazing was on probation for earlier alcohol incident
- October 14, 2016: MU reports show long history of sanctions, allegations against Delta Upsilon fraternity
- November 16, 2016: MU withdraws Kappa Alpha fraternity recognition
- December 6, 2016: Delta Upsilon International suspends MU chapter for at least two years
Now, that’s a Columbia paper. This probably doesn’t bleed over as much into the St. Louis and Kansas City papers. That, I’ll grant.
2. Pieces about sports get hits. Getting page views and figuring out how to make money from them is a source of struggle these days. The Trib and others have cut their sports reporting staffs, but when a player gets arrested, it’s going to get written about. It just is. This was a minor issue and received minor reporting, but it’s still going to get reporting.
3. “Reporting” isn’t “outrage,” fake or otherwise. It’s just reporting. If there was any editorializing whatsoever from reporters on Twitter, it was mostly of the “Wait, you can get arrested for an MIP?” or “They actually arrested him for that? Give me a break” varieties.
I understand how there’s going to be a disconnect here. I mean, fans don’t like media to cover anything negative surrounding their team, and when it happens, they claim “BIAS!” and whatnot. That’s just the way these things go, and if fans think that way, then athletes certainly think that way — it’s more personal for them. Obviously.
Still, this disconnect bothered me a bit, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then I saw this exchange:
A tweet like this proves how damaging it is that the media has such little access to players. Nobody really knows each other at all...— Anthony Romano (@ARomanoMU) June 19, 2017
Don’t ask me why, but I was perusing old links from the 2007 season and was reminded of a Trib series called “Cut to the Chase.” Back in the 2007-08 seasons, Dave Matter had constant Q&A exchanges with Chase Daniel. (I couldn’t find many, but here’s the last one.)
With things like that, of course, you have to be careful not to get too close to your subject because you still have to report when they do things wrong. (Matter’s a pro’s pro, so that was of minimal concern there.) Still, I wonder if dwindling access has contributed to this disconnect a decent amount. Reporters are now banned from a lot of things they weren’t banned from 10 years ago. From a player perspective, that makes them more of a foreign entity, and foreign entities can be hostile entities.
(This isn’t a Mizzou-specific complaint. Access has dwindled everywhere. Granted, limiting access and controlling more information certainly hasn’t helped Mizzou on the field the last two seasons...)
But I digress. It’s a frustrating issue, and while there obviously needs to be some sort of professional division between players/coaches and media, it seems like there’s an unnecessary level of hostility involved. Anyway. Tilmon was arrested for something minor, and now we all move on with our lives.
By the way, Mizzou commit Jontay Porter is now ranked 10th in ESPN’s 2018 prospect rankings. And the latest word I’ve heard from the grapevine is that ... maybe he’s not reclassifying? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’ll believe it when I (don’t) see it, but apparently it’s not a 100% likelihood now. Man, I’m ready to know one way or the damn other.
- Mizzou Soccer released its 2017 schedule yesterday, and it’s a doozy. The Tigers take on former Big 12 foes Nebraska and Iowa State (plus Oklahoma State in a friendly), play at Oregon State and NCAA qualifiers TCU and Northwestern, and ... host defending NCAA champion USC! They also host defending America East champ Albany and take on three SEC foes (Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M) that also made the NCAAs. That’s a loaded slate!
- Four-star 2018 shooting guard Montez Mathis was a priority of Cuonzo Martin’s at Cal and just named Missouri as one of his top eight schools. PowerMizzou caught up with him.
- MMA Fighting has a piece on former Mizzou wrestler Michael Chandler and his path to becoming a two-time world champion.