Fab Melo's disappointing first year at Syracuse has extended to a disappointing first offseason with the Orange.
Melo has been charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief stemming from an incident on Monday afternoon. Syracuse.com has the details:
Melo, 20, is accused of reaching through the open driver's side window of a 2003 Chevrolet Impala, and breaking the turn signal control arm making the turn signal, headlight high beam control and windshield wiper control inoperable. ... City Judge James Cecile issued an order of protection for the woman who was in the car at the time of the incident. She is a student at SUNY Upstate.CNYcentral.com is reporting that the unidentified woman is Melo's girlfriend and that the incident occurred after some sort of domestic-related fight between the two.
What, exactly, happened is unclear. The conclusion that most will jump to is that Melo snapped the control arm in a fit of rage after some sort of verbal altercation. That's quite possible. But Monday was Memorial Day. Isn't it also possible that Melo accidentally hit the control arm while trying to pull the keys out of the woman's car to prevent her from driving drunk? I'm not trying to defend him and I'm not trying to tell you he did nothing wrong, but based on recent incidents, its best to avoid assuming we know what happened without actually knowing what happened.
That said, what we do know is that this is another unfortunate incident in what was an incredibly disappointing season for Melo. He came into Syracuse as the top-rated center in the class of 2010, a seven-foot Brazilian behemoth that was supposed to fill the void left alongside Rick Jackson by Arinze Onuaku's graduation. And while Melo did start the majority of Syracuse's games, in most of those contests he was pulled two minutes in by Jim Boeheim, only to ride the pine for the remainder of the game. He finished the year averaging just 2.3 ppg while battling an achilles injury and conditioning issues, a far cry from what was expected out of the preseason Big East freshman of the year.
Its also another ugly incident in which a member of the Syracuse basketball team was implicated in a crime involving a woman.
I think we all remember the Eric Devendorf incident from two years ago. A year before the Eric Devendorf fiasco, Jonny Flynn, Rick Jackson, and Scoop Jardine faced a grand jury over allegations that they sexually assaulted a Syracuse student who lost a digital camera and cash during the alleged incidents. Billy Edelin was suspended for his freshman season in 2001-2002 after being accused of rape by a fellow Syracuse freshman as well as sexual harassment by a different woman.