Brown Backs Nordgren, Griffin; Both Will Play
Brown: Griffin will play vs. Huskers
Brown: Griffin will play vs. Huskers

Posted Oct 29, 2003

Stating that "We’ve had fewer young people get into trouble than anyone else in college football," head coach Mack Brown vouched Wednesday for QB Matt Nordgren and starting CB Cedric Griffin, the day after the Austin American-Statesman reported that University of Texas Police had charged them with criminal mischief. The two athletes will continue to practice and will play Saturday against Nebraska, Brown said.

"After talking to them and to their parents you find out there’s two sides to each story," Brown said. "We feel very, very comfortable with their side of the story. We feel comfortable that they can continue to go to class. They can continue to participate in practice. They will play in the game on Saturday. We’ll let the legal system take its course and if at any time we need to have disciplinary action it will be done in house."

The Statesman reported Wednesday morning that UTPD charged Nordgren with a Class A misdemeanor and Griffin with interfering with an emergency phone call after a student accused them of accosting him outside Jester Center dormitory on Sept. 21.

"After hearing the other side of the story we feel very comfortable that this will work itself out with the legal system," Brown said.

Arrest warrants were issued Oct. 10 and a court summons for Griffin and Nordgren is expected to be served this week, according to the account.

"With modern day media, anyone can accuse anyone of anything at any time," Brown said, "and you’ve just got to be really, really smart and make sure that you look at your options carefully. I’ve told the guys repeatedly, and our staff has told them repeatedly, that you’re young but you’re not like the other students on this campus, and you’ve got to understand that. You are handled differently in public on game day because you get more accolades when you do well but you also get more criticism when someone accuses you even when you haven’t done anything wrong. I think, in some ways, it’s really good for the guys to be under such scrutiny because it makes them watch what they say and do more carefully than everybody else on campus. The other thing it lets them do is handle public criticism, and that’s something all of us have to learn to do throughout our lives. Most people don’t get to learn that until they run a business. Our football players get to learn it every day."

The Austin paper reported that the incident began when Nordgren and Griffin confronted 21-year old Jonathan Allen outside of Jester Center dormitory on the UT campus. Griffin and Nordgren allegedly pulled up beside his car and told him to get out. The Statesman reports that Allen said he did not know what prompted the confrontation and that, as he began to leave, Nordgren got out of his vehicle and kicked the rear of his car, causing at least $900 in damage. When Allen tried calling police, Griffin reached into the Volkswagen and knocked the phone from his hand.

The story is "out of line", Brown said. He refused to compare the current incident with that of RB Cedric Benson’s. Austin police charged the junior with misdemeanor trespassing after he reportedly entered a South Austin apartment searching for a plasma TV that he reported stolen nearly one year ago.

"We’ve got great kids that will continue to graduate," Brown said. "Anyone who knows anything about our program knows that. We’ve had fewer young people get into trouble than anyone else in America in college football. Our record speaks for itself. We’ll always have guys who are accused of trouble simply because of the interest in this program. We’ll always be under scrutiny, and our guys understand that. Very seldom have we had young guys that get in trouble who, in the end when we follow it through, that they’ve done something wrong. And we’re very, very proud of that."

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