West Virginia point guard Joe Mazzulla has developed a rather unfortunate habit of finding his way into the police blotter. The first incident came in 2008, when Mazzulla was charged with underage drinking and aggravated assault at a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Last year, Mazzulla was suspended by West Virginia coach Bob Huggins for his arrest on charges of domestic battery. Mazzulla allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck at The Lady Lizard bar in Morgantown, W.Va. Both incidents involved alcohol.
Which is why Huggins will probably be forced to take this latest bit of news somewhat seriously: On Sunday, Mazzulla and teammate Dalton Pepper were cited for allegedly urinating in public in downtown Morgantown. The duo can either go to court or pay fines ranging from $135 to $535.
In a vacuum, a public urination charge isn't that big of a deal. College kids drink, and when they do, they tend to lose sight of appropriate venues for urination. It happens. But given Mazzulla's previous alcohol-related arrests, Huggins might feel the need to punish his point guard more harshly than a lone case of public urination would otherwise require. For now, Huggins released a statement saying he was aware of the situation, and that it would be handled internally.
The Mountaineers will need Mazzulla to up his focus in 2010-11. After the graduation of DeSean Butler, the Mountaineers will be relying on their senior point guard more than ever; he'll need to be a more productive and efficient player (his turnover rate in 2009-10 was alarmingly high, for example) and, perhaps most importantly, a leader. Being arrested for public urination is not the best way to go about that task whether you've been arrested before or not.
(Hat tip: College Hoops Journal)