In a May 9 interview with ESPN.com, Kansas coach Charlie Weis spent a few minutes lauding the physical attributes of incoming defensive end/linebacker Chris Martin.
"We haven’t had a guy that looks like an NFL outside linebacker/defensive end. We haven’t had a guy like that," Weis said, noting that the team feeds off his energy. "As long as I can keep him out of trouble -- because I’ve known the guy since he was a sophomore in high school, and there’s a whole litany with him."
Four days later, Martin was allegedly involved in an armed robbery in southwest Lawrence. On Wednesday, he was arrested on charges from that May 13 incident.
Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis says in a statement released Wednesday night that the school is aware of the charges and gathering facts.
Lawrence Police arrested Martin, 21, earlier Wednesday, along with former Kansas player Jeremiah Letrell Edwards, 21, of Garland, Texas; and Joshua Edwards, 28, of Lawrence, in connection with an armed robbery on May 13, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.
Martin, who went to high school in Aurora, Colo., is charged with aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and kidnapping.
According to a police report obtained by the Kansas City Star, the trio stole cash and marijuana at gunpoint. It's obvious Weis had questions about Martin's ability to avoid off-the-field trouble, but who could have thought he would have issues this soon? He enrolled for the spring semester and made a huge impact during KU's spring practices, but if the allegations are true or Martin is found guilty of the charges, it's hard to see him keeping a roster spot in Lawrence. Weis has already suspended players three games for drunk-driving arrests.
The situation described by police is more than poor judgment or a reckless accident. It's malicious. Weis issued a statement Wednesday that certainly lends credence to concerns that Martin might never play a down at Kansas.
"We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering facts," Weis said. "The behavior described in these charges is not acceptable at the University of Kansas. When we are confident that we have enough information, we will act appropriately."
Martin came to KU thanks to a prior relationship with Weis, who recruited him to Notre Dame. Martin committed to the Irish before decommitting and signing with California. He transferred to Florida five months later, but left the team and enrolled in junior college following an arrest on misdemeanor marijuana-possession charges. He went to two different junior colleges and was No. 80 on ESPN's 2013 juco 100.
Weis was a big reason Martin came to KU, but the Weis strategy of fixing roster holes with junior college players does come with risk. Sometimes, that means off-field issues. Any coach wants to see the best in his players and believe them when they insist they've matured, but if these allegations prove true, it's clear that wasn't the case with Martin, and Kansas is down an important piece of its 2013 defense.