Sunday, March 30, 2003
No charges have been filed after altercation
By Len Pasquarelli
Can things get any worse for Terrell Suggs, the Arizona State defensive end regarded as a top-five selection in next month's NFL draft, but a prospect whose stock likely dropped a bit following a subpar workout last Wednesday morning on his home campus?In the wake of the poor workout, which generated criticism from some league general managers, scouts and even owners, Suggs was involved in a Saturday altercation in the Phoenix area, after a three-on-three basketball tournament there. The incident occurred in a parking lot at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium after the "Rock the Rim" tournament and is currently under investigation by Phoenix police. A police spokesperson said Sunday there are "basically some conflicting (reports)" about the incident, noted that no charges have been filed, and that Suggs is not a suspect. Suggs was treated at a local hospital after the melee and the attending doctor told his agent, Gary Wichard, that the defensive end's injury was consistent with having been struck from behind. Suggs, in fact, claims that he was hit with a rebar after an exchange of words with a group of three men who had been at the tournament. According to police reports, one of those men, J.C. Cook, contends that Suggs was the aggressor in the incident. Cook, of Mesa, Ariz., was treated for a broken nose and for various other lacerations, and released. Suggs, who established an NCAA record with 24 sacks in 2002 and then bypassed his final season of college eligibility to enter the draft, was at the basketball tournament to watch a cousin play. "It was a case of self-defense and that's it," Wichard said. "You get hit from behind and you react. What was he supposed to do? He's got a headache, but it could have been a lot worse." Wichard said that his client "is more than prepared" to meet with police and explain the incident and noted that Suggs will also speak with an attorney to see what recourse is available to him. In last week's workout, attended by 100 scouts and representatives from 31 of 32 franchises, Suggs checked in at 6-feet-3 3/8 and 257 pounds. That is the same height he was at the combine sessions in Indianapolis last month, but his weight had dropped by five pounds. That is key for Suggs, who wants to play in the 260-pound range in the NFL. The highly regarded end ran two 40-yard sprints, and was timed at 4.82-4.86 in the first and 4.77-4.85 in the second, according to scouts in attendance. He had a 32 ½-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot standing long jump. Suggs, who won't turn 21 until midway through his rookie season, had a school-record 44 sacks during his three seasons with the Sun Devils. He also had 65 ½ tackles for losses, also a school record. Despite the poor workout last week, Suggs is still rated a consensus top 10 pick, and will probably audition one more time for scouts before the draft. Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.