That got real ugly, real quickly.
Let’s start with the Syracuse Post-Standard, who has some details on the incident:
About 9 a.m. on May 30, she and Melo got into an argument over a phone call she received from a male friend. Melo demanded she call back the male and tell him that she did not want to talk with him anymore because she was dating Melo. She said she called and told the man she couldn’t hang out with him anymore. Melo became mad, she said, because she didn’t make it sound like she was voluntarily calling off the communication. Later in the day, she told police it appeared that Melo had calmed down.
About 1:40 p.m., … Melo became angry after reading two comments from two different men on [her] Facebook wall, she said. Melo threw down his computer on the floor, damaging it. As soon as he realized he had damaged it, he began throwing it against the walls. She went to the apartment’s bathroom and shut the door. She soon left the bathroom, grabbed her belongings and left the apartment. She was in her car when Melo came out of the apartment, picked up some dirt and threw it on her. Melo walked behind the car and demanded she open the trunk. She refused. Melo approached the driver’s side, reached in the window and snapped off the turn signal control arm, which also controlled the car’s wipers and high beams. She noticed Melo was bleeding from the hand. “Here, you want my blood,” she quoted Melo as saying as he smeared blood on her shirt.
Yeah, that’s bad. What’s worse is that this isn’t the first time that Melo has gotten violent; the woman said they have a “volatile relationship” and that he has been physically violent with her four or five times before. It may also be the reason that Melo missed some time during the season. If you remember, back in mid-February, Melo went MIA from the Syracuse team. He wasn’t answering his phone and he wasn’t showing up to practice. He eventually missed two games as a result. The excuse given was that he was dealing with family problems back in Brazil. But according to Orange Fizz, a Syracuse blog, that may not be 100% true:
A source close to the situation tells The Fizz that a previous time Melo had been aggressive with the victim directly led to his suspension during the season. According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, an incident occured on Wednesday, February 9th.
“Fab pushed his [girlfriend] to the ground. She had to go to the hospital. She had several bruises… she claimed she fell down the stairs.”
Following that, according to the source, Melo “turned off his phone and left. Coaches couldn’t get in contact with him. Two days later he said he was dealing with personal issues in Brazil.” The incident was never reported to the police. He was suspended for games Feb. 12 (Louisville) and 14 (West Virginia) and played a total of ten minutes over the next three games.
This is not good for Melo.
There is quite a bit that the public is willing to over look, whether you are a sports star or not. But violence against women — especially when the offender is a 7’0″ behemoth of a young man — is not one of those things. To be fair, we don’t know the truth of what happened. The incidents quoted above could be exaggerations by Melo’s girlfriend, and they could be just the tip of the iceberg of what has happened in their relationship. As Sean McNally of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician says, all we have to go on right now are the reports — reports from one of the better college hoops beats in the country and (what in my experience has been) a credible blogger — and those reports do not paint Melo is a very good light.
The question now must be where does Syracuse go from here.
Yes, Melo was a five-star recruit a year ago. But he was also one of the biggest disappointments in the class of 2010. Will Jim Boeheim be willing to keep Melo and the distractions he brings with him on the team for a measly 2.4 ppg, especially when he has Rakeem Christmas, another blue-chip big man, coming in next season? Boeheim’s track record says yes. He fought for Eric Devendorf when Devo was falsely accused of punching a woman in the face two years ago. He kept Jonny Flynn, Scoop Jardine, and Rick Jackson in the program when they were accused — and cleared — of sexually assaulting a women three years ago.
Those players were cleared by the Syracuse courts and the notoriously tough Syracuse Univeristy judiciary board.
This may only be the beginning of the Fab Melo saga.