King’s football career appears to be over

Army senior Richard King is headed for active duty. (Danny Wild/USMA)

The bizarre news of Richard King’s run-in with a few thugs and Houston police has spread quickly in the last couple days. King, a senior at West Point entering his fifth year, was reportedly assaulted by several of Patti LaBelle’s “bodyguards” at a Texas airport in March. It appears his college football career is over.

I don’t want to wade into what appears to be a very sticky situation and ensuing legal battle, but I will say this — I feel really bad for Rich, I always knew him to be a good guy and a solid football player who came up through USMAPS and has overcome injuries in his years at the Academy.

Richard King
Richard King at the Armed Forces Bowl. (Danny Wild)

The video — and I would strongly recommend watching it — speaks for itself: he was attacked while walking by, talking to family on his cell phone, on March 11.

On the field, King, a defensive back who missed all of 2009 with a concussion, started nine of Army’s 13 games in 2010 and was second on the team with four interceptions, helping Army to the Armed Forces Bowl in his home state of Texas. Army describes him as “an aggressive defender with [a] nose for [the] football, a fine athlete with ability to excel in ‘open space,’ and one who “flourishes in run coverage as well.”

Safe to say he will be missed, especially as a veteran presence on a team that lost several key defenders to graduation.

The Associated Press reported “King was taken away on a stretcher with blood on his shirt and a bandage on his head.” Houston police then posed for photos with LaBelle a few feet away from King’s blood. Classy.

“I pretty much got jumped,” King told ABC News. “I really don’t know why. On top of that, it’s causing a lot of trouble because the false police report they reported.”

King has evidently been suspended and ordered to active duty, although it sounds like the concussion he suffered in March (King’s lawyer said he has “lingering dizziness and headaches”) would have kept him away from football this fall.

The 23-year-old has filed a lawsuit, and I’ll leave it to The Record’s Sal Interdonato, who speculated, “There’s got to be more to this for West Point to act so harshly. [The] Army is ordering a cadet, who has had close to 10 concussions, into active duty as a disciplinary action.”

Really a sad story. I hope it works out for him, I’ll miss seeing him on the field at Michie.

Ellerson visits Anderson at CLDT

Army football coach Rich Ellerson paid a visit to some cadets at West Point’s Cadet Leader Development Training last week. Ellerson and Brig. General William Rapp, the outgoing Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, visited C Company, which was commanded by none other than former Army football captain and Armed Forces Bowl MVP, Stephen Anderson.

Rich Ellerson chats with Stephen Anderson. (BG Rapp)

Rapp said the Anderson-led outpost is doing “great stuff.” Anderson is due to graduate in December after taking a semester off with his knee injury in 2009.

“C Co is doing well during this second week of Cadet Leader Development Training,” he said. “Their COP sits nearby a village full of Arabic-speaking role players and some cadet “OPFOR” (opposing forces) who have given them some challenges to resolve!”

Ellerson talks things over with C Company. (BG Rapp)
Ellerson talks things over with C Company. (BG Rapp)

You can see some more photos from BG Rapp on his Facebook page.

Also of note, a New Jersey reporter suggested Michie Stadium as the next venue for the NHL’s Winter Classic, which could potentially feature the Rangers. Safe to say I would be really, really pumped if that happened.

My good friend Adam Bosch reported last week that the Defense Department appointed Brig. Gen. Ted Martin as West Point’s 73rd commandant. Martin is currently serving as commandant of the U.S. Army Armor School at Fort Benning, Ga., and will join the Academy later this year.

“We’re going to beat Navy,” Martin said, “even if I have to suit up to help out.”

Outstanding. And more exciting news, Army announced the team’s bowl tie-in for 2011, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, will be held at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home of the World Series champion Giants. What an amazing venue that will be! Army needs six wins before facing Navy to qualify for the bowl game.

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