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Mack and a member of the Iowa State football team held up a Burger King in Ames. Mack carried a knife. The football player had a sawed-off shotgun. They forced workers and customers into the freezer at closing time.
But they were caught when one of the workers escaped and called the cops, who were at shift change only two blocks away. In the ensuing battle, Mack took two bullets in the legs.
During the trial, Mack said that he was forced into committing the crime against his will and that the members of the jury, two of them Iowa State season ticketholders, believed him. He was acquitted. The football player got 25 years.
Frieder had been Johnny Orr's assistant coach at the University of Michigan. All Frieder knew was that Sam Mack was a player with NBA potential, and that was enough to pick him as the very first recruit of the Frieder era at Arizona State.
"Can you imagine what the press in Michigan would have done if I tried to sign a guy like that?" Frieder chuckled to a Detroit News sportswriter. "But out here, they're ecstatic."
Nobody was ecstatic for long. Shortly after arriving on the ASU campus, Mack was arrested after a co-ed accused him of rape.
What was Frieder's reaction?
The first thing he did was tell the campus police that since Mack was a member of the basketball team, the rape charge was a basketball matter, not a police matter. When the police leaked this comment to the press, Frieder hit the roof.
"Someone in that office needs to be fired," Frieder said. "No one, not even my wife, knows I made that call. I challenge you all to find out who it was so we can fire his ass."
What about Mack?
Frieder assured one and all that Mack was innocent until proven guilty and that his scholarship would continue.
But Frieder was also prepared even then with the same line Harris delivered last week.
"We will not tolerate antisocial behavior," Frieder said. "It is not an acceptable standard."
This is a new year. Now, I suppose, we have a new set of standards. Faulkner is in jail, possibly for 30 days, for failing to complete the terms of his probation in the matter. My guess is that the judge will let him out after he serves about a week, or just about as long as it takes some influential ASU alum to reach him.
Dwayne Fontana, another student-athlete, was arrested after a co-ed charged that Fontana forcibly raped her.
And one of Frieder's newest student-athletes, a star junior-college player from California, turns out to be under a jail sentence there for theft.
@body:We should not fantasize. Don't expect anything about the athletic policies at Arizona State to change. Let's not get ourselves worked up, expecting some vast wave of reforms to take place.
Right now it isn't even economically possible. The basketball program won't generate enough profit to pay Frieder's salary. Are you suggesting that the team's roster be filled by real students? Who do you think would go to see them play? Let's relax and live with reality. Over the years, Arizona State has earned its reputation as one of the classic outlaw schools of this country. With the recent rash of arrests and jailings of basketball and football players alike, this reputation is more than being upheld.
So here is the single most important thing for you to understand. Nobody in the school's administration, least of all president Lattie Coor, has the courage or the power to change any of this.
Besides, the people who call themselves Arizona State fans actually revel in the school's reputation for outlawry. They don't mind it so much when they see newspaper photographs of basketball stars being led off to jail or reading about team members taken into custody for rape and other forms of sexual assault. I'm sure most find it amusing.
What Arizona State fans really will mind, and won't put up with, are losing teams.
So don't fear any great change is going to sweep the Arizona State campus. Bill Frieder will continue to recruit criminal types for his basketball team, because this is the thing he does best. He is not a coach. He is a recruiter.
And that is why that great smoothie--athletic director Charles Harris--was able to hold his press conference and make his hypocritical pronouncement stick.
Remember his words: From now on it's zero tolerance.
As I drove home from the press conference, I turned on the car radio. There was the Pat McMahon show.
The guest of honor was none other than the noble Frank Kush. McMahon was asking:
"Now, Frank, you were such a great disciplinarian in your years as ASU's football coach. . . . How did you do it?"
I'd heard that song before. I switched to hear some jazz on the National Public Radio station.
WHAT ABOUT THE FAMILY VALUE OF BROTHERLY... v9-02-92