- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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Since turning himself in for alleged domestic violence against his girlfriend, things have gotten bad -- and profoundly strange -- for LaceDarius Dunn and the Baylor Bears. The weird part came in the form of a statement from Dunn's girlfriend and alleged victim of abuse, Lacharlesla Edwards, who said, despite police reports to the contrary, that Dunn never hit her, that her jaw was never broken, and that she wants the charge dropped and her boyfriend reinstated at Baylor as soon as possible.
The bad part (other than, obviously, the alleged domestic violence) are the questions about Dunn's upcoming season.
Baylor athletics and basketball coach Scott Drew have yet to rule on Dunn's status. Drew said he would be waiting for the process to play out. If Drew's decision was all that mattered, it's more than likely Dunn would be on the court sooner rather than later.
Alas, Drew's decision is not all that matters. Baylor University went ahead and did its own thing: It suspended Dunn from classes late last week, which is the school's standard operating procedure for students facing a felony charge, according to the Associated Press and Dunn's lawyer, Vikram Deivanayagam.
This presents a major problem. Dunn hasn't been suspended from his team, but if he's unable to attend classes for an extended period of time, he could find himself unable to qualify academically for the spring semester. The spring semester happens to be, you know, when the majority of the basketball season -- including the Big 12 regular season, Big 12 tournament, and NCAA tournament -- takes place. It would be something of an end-around punishment, and it's entirely possible Dunn the case could be settled and Dunn could be reinstated to the team before the fall semester is out. But if Dunn misses too many classes, that wouldn't matter.
At that point, the very valid questions of whether or not (and for how long) Baylor should suspend Dunn won't matter, either. The charge against him won't matter. His girlfriend's wishes won't matter. Dunn would miss the season anyway.
That's a Baylor fan's nightmare scenario. Even as the school awaits legal clarity, a decision from the athletics department, and a decision from university president Ken Starr, that nightmare is already in progress.