Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke explains the University of Florida's problem with African-American quarterbacks.
University of Florida quarterback Treon Harris has yet to be charged with a crime, but the Gator Nation has already thrown him under the bus. Over the weekend, news broke that a female student had accused Harris of sexually assaulting her. He has not been arrested, but the Gainesville Police Department is investigating the young woman's allegations.
Reports of the sordid incident, which allegedly occurred hours after Harris led the Gators to an October 4 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers, are a shock to anyone who knows the former Booker T. Washington High football star.
The youngest son of Miami Hurricanes running backs coach Tim "Ice" Harris, Treon is one of the most mild-mannered, humble kids to come out of Overtown's football community. His dad has a long track record as a tough disciplinarian who taught his kids the meaning of respect. It's not in Treon's nature to force himself on a woman.
But University of Florida officials and fans are quickly distancing themselves from Treon. He's been suspended indefinitely from the team.
It could be weeks before police complete their investigation. In the meantime, the University of Florida propaganda machine is assassinating his character.
School newspaper the Independent Florida Alligator cited an anonymous source, who was not an eyewitness, claiming Treon "allegedly forced himself into the victim's room and allegedly sexually assaulted her there." That comment makes people imagine a big, bad black man breaking down a door to rape a woman.
In an October 7 column for SB Nation's Alligator Army website, writer Andy Hutchins described Treon as a sex-crazed maniac. "If we're being honest, we have to admit this: Treon Harris was probably going to have sex with someone on Saturday night." They crucified him without having any of the real hard facts that his attorney released yesterday.
The Gators have a long history of turning on black quarterbacks when they're about to become stars. It's almost impossible for guys like Treon and Cam Newton -- the Carolina Panthers QB who was kicked out of the University of Florida in 2008 for allegedly cheating and stealing a laptop -- to get a fair shot.
And in the early 1980s, Derrick Crudup Sr., at the time a heralded quarterback coming out of Boca Raton High, committed to the Gators. But then-coach Charley Pell refused to play Crudup at his position. The QB left the school after Pell allegedly told him he wouldn't be accepted as a black quarterback leading a Southeastern Conference football team.
Today, almost all major SEC programs, including Alabama and Auburn, are led by black quarterbacks -- but not UF. Treon may be found innocent, but more than likely he's played his last down as a Gator.
Tune into Luke on the Andy Slater Show every Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. on Miami's Sports Animal, 940 AM.
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