Qyntel Woods. Remember him?
Of course you do. Suspected of abandoning his dog. Suspected of owning pit bulls that participated in organized fighting. Suspected, apparently, of playing host to such fights.
I won't try to rationalize or justify what Woods is accused of doing. Nor will I tell you he's a good guy who just happened to do some stupid things. There is little evidence that he's anything of the sort. He's undergone treatment for a drug problem and seems to have been irresponsible in many areas of his life.
All in all, he does not appear to be a candidate for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
That said, I'm absolutely mystified that Woods Ñ 'suspended indefinitely' by the Blazers Ñ has missed all of the NBA season and still has not even been charged with a crime. This story broke during the first week of October.
Clackamas County still is investigating Woods. At least that's what they say.
Last year, you'll recall, Kobe Bryant played an entire season after being charged with sexual assault. Are accusations of dogfighting so much more egregious than accusations of rape that Woods must be kept out of the league when Bryant was not?
I don't think so. Some other factors are at work, the likes of which I don't recall ever seeing in the NBA.
For one thing, the Blazers Ñ intent on trying to refurbish their image in the community Ñ want no part of Woods. They don't want him in uniform or even inside their practice facility. In fact, Woods reportedly is living in Memphis, Tenn.
But Woods, like all NBA players, is supposed to have advocates. He has an agent and a union Ñ both paid to make sure his rights are protected. For Woods, this could have been a make-or-break season. And, in the overall NBA scheme of things, the allegations wouldn't rank among the top 25 'Bad Things NBA Players Have Done.'
In a league where you can possess drugs, assault other humans or drive irresponsibly and get suspended for three or four games, for how long could Woods reasonably have been suspended without pay? Four games? Five?
Instead, he's in some sort of NBA limbo, as his suspension quietly rumbles on Ñ it's at 34 games, and counting.
'A grievance was filed on behalf of Qyntel a few months ago,' says Dan Wasserman, director of communications for the NBA Players Association. 'As far as I know, it's still pending.'
The Portland Tribune has made repeated attempts to reach Raymond Brothers, Woods' agent. Those calls have not been returned.
One would think that the union and Brothers would be livid by now about a player being deprived of his right to make a living. The man has been found guilty of nothing at this point. Even if he had, would this offense merit a 34-game suspension?
All I can think of Ñ with the union and his agent unable or unwilling to help him Ñ is this:
Either Qyntel Woods has done something else that we don't yet know about, or he is one very troubled guy and nobody cares enough about him to help him.