St. John’s basketball is big news once again, but as everyone knows, it has little to do with the win-loss record.
Grady Reynolds was arrested last month and is charged with assaulting a member of the swim team in his room in Hollis Hall. If convicted, he will face serious consequences, the least of which should be expulsion from the team, if not the school.
A sports column in the NY Post has already called for such measures, decrying the fact that Reynolds has been allowed to play while facing charges. They say that it is shameful that he appear on the court while Rachel Seager suffers from a dislocated knee.
We must politely disagree with the Post’s position, despite their reputation for levelheaded reporting. Grady Reynolds has been charged, not convicted. Respect for his right to due process should stay any punishment until one of the ongoing investigations, either the University’s or New York’s, finds him guilty of wrongdoing.
As matters stand, proceedings have only just begun, and the next hearing is not until Dec. 24. Meanwhile, the only witnesses to the act are Seager and Reynolds, who accuse each other of the violence that caused the injury.
Without a conviction and without proof, St. John’s made the right decision to presume Reynolds innocent and allow him to play. It would be just as wrong to penalize him for what may be false charges as it would be to ostracize Seager for bringing what may be a truthful complaint.
Until the truth of the matter becomes more clear, the only acceptable position for the University to take is one that confers as much benefit of the doubt as possible on both parties. The administration should allow Reynolds to play; the administration should offer Seager all the support and protection they can. All the while they must be open and honest with investigators. It is a demanding balancing act, but with the dearth of information currently available, it is the most prudent.
If Reynolds is found guilty, then the full weight of the law should be brought to bear, and we will respond with our full blessing and support. However, it is more important that punishment come justly than swiftly. So long as the University protects the rights of Reynolds and Seager, there is time enough to allow due process to take its course.