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Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Lorenzo Romar 'crushed' by Overton news

By Eamonn Brennan

Venoy Overton's off-court behavior caused Washington coach Lorenzo Romar no small amount of consternation and stress this season. Now, even with Overton out of the program, Romar is still dealing with the fallout.

Overton assured as much last week, when he was arrested and charged in Kent, Wash. for allegedly "promoting prostitution." According to police, Overton "directed [his girlfriend] to perform acts of prostitution" as a way to "make easy money." The girl allegedly gave Overton half of her earnings; in exchange, according to the police report, Overton said he would "take care of her once he made it to the NBA."

If the charges are true, this is just the latest head-shaking chapter in Overton's story. And it's one that has Romar -- who joined KJR in Seattle on Monday -- sounding like a disappointed father. From the show transcript:
“[You're] just crushed, disappointed. You know you go through battles that those who play for you and come through your program. And here at the University of Washington we’ve been able to win a lot of those battles together. And this one here was just very disappointing. You’d like to think everyone is going to reach their potential in all aspects, but every once in awhile it doesn’t work that way.” [...]

If Romar in any way questions the way he handled [Overton] as a person and student athlete in light of the recent developments:

“Not with the information that I had at the time, no not at all. With the information I had at the time, I am very much at peace with the decision that was made.”

That suggests that he would have handled him differently had he know some of the things he knows now:

“Things would have been a lot different, yes.”

Romar stuck by Overton during the season, even when Overton appeared to be embroiled in a sex scandal involving a 16-year-old girl. No charges were brought in that case -- witnesses eventually corroborated Overton's story that the sex was consensual -- but Overton was charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

And now, of course, there's this. If there's any relief for Romar, who says he hasn't spoken to Overton during this latest crisis, it's that he seems confident he did everything he could for his former player. Sometimes, that's the best you can do. Sometimes, a second chance is one too many.