So Syracuse recruit Ashton Broyld’s legal team has declined a plea deal? That may not necessarily be the smartest move. Last month, we at The Fizz asked, “What actually happened with Broyld?“ that evening in the state basketball playoffs. The Rush-Henrietta football star had spoken to us on National Signing Day and couldn’t have been a more polite and mature-sounding young man.
He was part of a recruiting class that was touted by Doug Marrone as a unit of team leaders – every one of them was a captain on his high school team. Well, leaders don’t normally drop their Nike shorts in front of a gym full of fans.
“Witnesses say after he fouled out in a playoff game and his team lost he made inappropriate gestures at the crowd and exposed himself. ”
It’s likely Broyld’s team simply doe not want the phrase “exposed himself” attached to his reputation. That’s understandable. At just 19-years-old, that’s a tough tag to be labeled with.
“My client does not admit to exposure or to a crime being done,” says J.B. Afoh-Manin, who is the defense attorney. Asked if he would agree to plead guilty to any charge Afoh-Manin replied, “My client has no criminal record, not even a parking ticket. We believe that Ashton has a better opportunity than this to resolve the case.”
But with every turn of the legal proceedings, it simply draws more attention to the incident. Is “lewdness” any less startling for an incoming recruit to have committed? Are Syracuse fans or the Orange community more likely to embrace an athlete who was obviously out of line in front of hundreds of fans, as long as he doesn’t cop to dropping his shorts? Some type of “inappropriate gesture” has been reported by outlets since the night it happened.
Maybe this is all to save Broyld’s scholarship? “I have strong belief and confidence that they’re going to hold true to their word and give him the scholarship they’ve offered him and they’re not going to renege,” Afoh-Manin said. But if you’re The Dougie, you must have all the information at your disposal already. Whether Broyld’s team actually admitted to “exposure” would be semantics at this point. Either you feel he can still be valuable to the program or he’s forfeited his chance.
It can’t be easy to have an awful personal moment played out publicly at just 19-years-old. No one would want the tag of “exposure” hung on them for life. But Broyld’s legal team may be doing more harm than good. They’d be wise to avoid denial simply to achieve a courtroom victory. Accept the consequences and move on. If you don’t, Syracuse football may do it without you.