Sports nuts are declaring the final downfall of UCLA basketball's recruiting class of 2008 today, after reserve point guard Jerime Anderson was arrested for allegedly stealing a fellow student's MacBook Pro. (The rest of the '08ers have either dropped off the team or been drafted by the NBA.)
According to the UCLA Newsroom, "a tracking device on a MacBook Pro valued at $1,541 helped its owner lead authorities to [Anderson], campus police said." He has been suspended from the team.
This is the same guy...
... handed an award for "competitive spirit, inspiration and unselfish contributions" at last season's goodbye banquet. And the same guy, uh, set to host the nepotistic college-athlete crowd's party of the summer weekend after next.
Or, as listed on Facebook, the "I LOVE COLLEGE!!! ATHLETES PARTY! August 5th Hosted By Jerime Anderson."
The Proud Bird, a bar/restaurant near LAX, is set to host (in the words of one wall-poster, "this better be good! 'cause i don't usually go to that side of town. lol"), and almost 300 people have confirmed their attendance so far. Another 2,000 are possibilities.
So, in light of Anderson's arrest, pressing matter: Is the party still on?
After posting $20,000 bail at the West Hollywood sheriff's station, Anderson is scheduled to appear at the LAX courthouse at 4 p.m. today. However, fellow party-planner Edgar Garibay, a forward for rivaling Loyola Marymount University, assures us Anderson will still make it to the August 5 event:
"Jerime will still be there," he says. "I talked to him yesterday, and there's some bullshit going on, but he'll be all right." Plus, the LMU baller adds, UCLA frosh Anthony Stover has confirmed his attendance, as well. (OK, that's it -- we're in.)
UCLA Coach Ben Howland seems to take a slightly more grim outlook on Anderson's future in his prepared statement:
"This is a disappointing and unfortunate situation for Jerime. We have a high standard and code of conduct that our student-athletes are expected to follow. He knows that he has made a huge mistake and that he has not represented himself, our program or UCLA in a manner that is required."
Whether or not Anderson makes the party, he won't be playing in the team's first game on November 11 (versus LMU, no less). This comes as lousy news for the team, according to ESPN:
Anderson averaged 5.0 points and 2.6 assists for the Bruins last season and emerged as a key player off the bench as the team's sixth man.
We've contacted UCLA police for more information on this supposed "tracking device." Hopefully, it's the kind that takes video -- a la viral thisguyhasmymacbook sensation -- and we can watch Anderson do whatever Anderson do when he gets in front of a stolen MacBook screen, red-handed. Or, if campus police don't have the right guy (anyone down to make FREE JERIME shirts?), perhaps the footage could exonerate him in time to obliterate LMU.
Some wise closing words from the College Basketball Nation Blog:
Oh, to long for the days when your program's biggest problem is that your big-bodied center added a few unwanted pounds in the offseason. How quickly such matters can seem trivial.