Vander Blue Should Walk Away Next Time
By Troy Sparks
If freshman Vander Blue was a student at Marquette instead of a basketball player, would anybody care about his recent legal situation?
Blue was cited for assault and battery from an incident that happened last October, and I think that he will use better judgment the next time around.
He did what most 18 or 19-year old young men and women would do: React first and ask questions later. I would say that his mother was disappointed in her son for what he did.
If any of this stuff would have affected Blue's development as a player during the past season, then he would've transferred.
Head coach Buzz Williams would say that Blue is a good kid who made a reactionary approach to the guy he punched instead of thinking of the consequences it would cause.
The incident involving Blue took place around 1:30 a.m. when he and teammate Darius Johnson-Odom walked into the Qdoba restaurant. According to the citation, Blue approached a group of two men and two women and began talking, according to the April 20 Journal-Sentinel story.
One of the victims made fun of Blue's name, and the freshman guard invited the man outside where Blue pushed and punched him. Blue said, according to the police report, the man used a racial slur, but there was no proof that a slur was used.
My question to Johnson-Odom is, why didn't you escort Blue out the door and go back to the dorm? The second question to him is, what were the two of you doing out that late at night anyway? Doesn't Jimmy John's deliver to the dorms?
Johnson-Odom, being from North Carolina, has, at some point in his young adult life, heard racial slurs before. The incident on October 24 was about a week after the team held their official beginning of the season practices.
Blue has probably heard some unkind things in his young life, especially being from Madison. Heck, they're still peed off at him for changing his mind and signing with the Golden Eagles instead of Wisconsin. He gave a verbal committment to the Badgers at 15 years old.
There are some things that you have to walk away from or ignore because you can't fight everybody that insults you.
You can't assume that the action Blue committed was premeditated or if he crossed paths with anyone in the group before that night, and how did he know who to step up to? Whatever happened to going up to the counter, ordering your food, waiting for it and walking out the door? I guess those guys weren't hungry after all.
Blue was disciplined by the school and the basketball program and we should be satisfied with that.