Controversy Swirls Around Seahawks Draft Pick – Accused of Domestic Violence
The Seattle Seahawks are again facing controversy over the behavior of one of their players, this time over 2nd-round NFL Draft Pick Frank Clark.
Clark, a highly regarded Defensive End from Michigan, was booted from the Wolverines football team last November after being accused of misdemeanor assault and domestic violence. The incident occurred in at the Maui Sands Hotel in Sandusky, Ohio.
Clark was accused of beating up the female victim, a hotel clerk at the facility said the following, according to NW Cable News:
"He beat the living crap out of her."
Clark plead guilty to disorderly conduct as part of a deal in April in which prosecutors dropped the assault charge. He spent three days in jail. The hotel clerk, Stephanie Burkhart, said about the incident, which occurred while she was on duty:
"...she received a phone call from the guest in the room next to Clark's, "stating it sounded like a head was being bounced off the wall. (Burkhart) stated the guest also told her that small children ran from room 3202 to their room and stated 'Frank is killing our sister.'"
The controversy stems from the fact that Seattle team officials, in doing standard back round checks and "due dilligence," never spoke to any of the witnesses or others directly involved in the incident. Burkhart said she would have remembered somebody from the Seahawks calling her, but they didn't.
According to police records and published reports, the altercation was quite violent, according to NW Cable News. Burkhart said the next day, the victim appeared to be having difficulty walking, and seemed to be in great pain.
Team officials, including GM John Schneider and Coach Pete Carroll, said they had done their own investigation, but admitted later they didn't talk to any witnesses or others who were present at the time of the altercation.
It has been brought up that GM Schneider said in 2012 that he would "never" draft a player who was accused of domestic violence or other such acts against women.
NFL teams are notorious for picking through every inch of a perspective high draft choice's life, to make sure they're getting a player with no skeletons in their closet, and someone they can rely on as long-time character player.
With all the attention being focused heavily on domestic violence incidents involving NFL players of the last two years, Seattle is being heavily criticized for not fully investigating Clark's backround.
Clark's attorney, Kenneth Baily, released this statement to KING-5 TV, which read in part:
Mr. Clark responsibly addressed his allegations by hiring legal counsel, engaging in a life counseling program, and personally meeting with the Prosecutor at my request. I respect the Seattle Seahawks for their ardent opposition to assaults on women, and I respect them even more for believing in Frank Clark. Mr. Clark is an asset to the Seattle Seahawks -- not a liability."
Prior to this incident, Seattle was one of - if not the most- penalized team in the NFL in the last few seasons, especially over the PED fines and suspensions involving a number of current and former players.