Column by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor.
On the first day back to school, buzz around class was about sports but this time it wasn’t a win or loss. It was about former football player, Zeke Pike.
Pike was arrested Sunday evening for allegedly driving through a stoplight. Failure to stop led the officer to find other things to charge Pike with. The officer said Pike had a marijuana pipe in his pocket and an open container of beer within reach.
By the time Tuesday evening arrived Pike was off the team.
We were all rooting for him; he started in a new place with new people and a brand-new football coach. The players also showed excitement to have such talent on their team. Pike was recruited by several SEC schools and according to the police report, apparently can run like the wind.
In my interview with football Head Coach Mitch Stewart, he said it is important for “Zeke Pike to worry about Zeke Pike.”
Clearly Pike hasn’t been worried about the rules.
Pike got in his car Sunday night and drove after allegedly having a few alcoholic beverages. He also, whether it was a friend’s or not, put a marijuana pipe in his pocket, then went through a stoplight and failed to signal properly. After being pulled over, you’d think he’d be scared enough to own up.
That is not the case.
Next, Pike ran from the police. Not just a few feet but he ran 350 yards. He ran the length of three and a half football fields. You’d think Pike would learn his lesson after being stunned.
Pike then refused a blood test at the hospital according to his police report.
Stewart said in an interview earlier in the summer that he was looking to giving Pike a second chance because everyone deserves one. In all reality, this was his third chance.
Between all the student-athlete and coach interviews that have been conducted not one of them have ever condoned the conscious act of drinking and driving or the use of drugs. Since the investigation is still underway, we don’t know what Pike’s intentions were.
Whether it was to use the marijuana pipe or not, Pike still had it on his person. As a student-athlete, why wouldn’t you take extreme caution to make sure you don’t get in trouble?
Hopefully Pike spends his time really working on himself.
For all student-athletes and coaches, the Racer fans hope he turns himself around. Countless times President Davies has said how athletics are the front porch of the University.
Head Coach Mitch Stewart made an admirable choice for his optimistic attitude and work to help Pike change his life for the better but fans can’t help but feel a sense of disappointment in Pike for his actions as they’ve Tweeted and posted on Facebook. Fans are turning to social media and simply saying it’s a sad story, as @ScoopPhillips tweeted in response to the story.
“Former AU recruit could never figure it out,” said Brian Stultz, a writer for campusinsider.com
Murray State is making a push for mental health awareness. With three counseling centers on campus; one in Oakley Applied Science, Wells Hall and Alexander Hall, there are a lot of options for students on campus to seek help with an issue or concern they may have. The administration wants to see students promoting this awareness and pursuing it where they need it.
This incident with Pike came right on this cusp of the push for mental health awareness, and this could be an example of how sports may not be enough to help people like Pike.
Murray State brought Pike onto the team knowing his history. The real question, did the people who brought him to Murray State set him up for success or failure? He lived off campus and not with other team members. Why wasn’t he put on campus with a curfew and with other members of the team?
Pike is a student who made mistakes. His friends, family and those who want him back on a team need to help him get back on his feet.
Because eventually, he’ll run out of chances.