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Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Ash garners attention for FAU that the Owls don’t need

On Monday afternoon it was reported by several news outlets, including this one, that FAU redshirt freshman Cortez Ash was taken into custody and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor stemming from theft of copper wire from a Vero Beach salvage yard.

By Tuesday, the story of Ash’s arrest got out and made national news. When I woke up it was the lead story on CollegeFootballTalk.com and was also featured on EveryDayShouldBeSaturday.com, both blogs with large followings. The story has also been on CBSSports.com and TheSportingNews.com.
 
It appears the reason the arrest caught the attention of so many across the nation was the nature of the crime. Not only was Ash accused of swiping some 400 pounds of copper wire from a junkyard, but  also of returning to the place where he stole it to try and sell it back.
 
That’s the kind of shenanigans that land you on World’s Dumbest Criminals and is definitely not the kind of headline FAU needs right now.
 
And since so many new people are paying attention to the Owls this week it should be noted that FAU’s football program is not teeming with criminals. I have covered the program since 1998 – three years before the first game – and I can count on one hand the number of players who I have reported that have been arrested and this is just the second in about the last five years.
 
Also give FAU credit here. Once Ash’s arrest became public, Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger was quickly reached and made a public comment on Monday night.
 
While Schnellenberger said he would be paying close attention to what happens, my guess is Ash, who was expected to battle for playing time at free safety this fall, will eventually face some sort of suspension. However, in the grand scheme of things, this was not a violent crime – just a dumb one. Plenty could happen with this case and it could be a wake-up call to Ash.
 
 
Please, let’s not write him off just yet.
 
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In baseball news, FAU pitcher Paul Davis made it official. As expected Davis signed with the Giants. We talked to Davis and Owls coach John McCormack about the status of next year’s rotation for this story.
June 15, 2011

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