The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

April 6, 2008

COLUMN: Henry on path to self-destruction

MORGANTOWN — He stood before the bench in the Hamilton County Municipal Court, just as he had stood in courtrooms so many other times before, only this time the court had had enough of wide receiver Chris Henry’s antics.

The presiding judge, Bernie Bouchard, told Henry “You’ve become a one-man crime wave.”

That is saying a lot to — and about — one man in city that in 2007 had 67 murders, 322 rapes, 1,973 robberies, 1,082 aggravated assaults, 6,198 burglaries, 12,615 larcenies and 2,421 car thefts.

But then again, how many people since December of 2005 have been arrested five times, as Henry has?

Little more than a week ago he was stopped and cited for driving with expired license plates.

Now it appears he may be making license plates.

Just a few days later, he was arrested for punching a University of Cincinnati student in the head and smashing in his car window with a beer bottle, leading to his release by the Cincinnati Bengals. It also led to having to come up with a $51,000 bail and being confined to his riverfront condo in Cincinnati under house arrest, complete with tracking bracelet.

Here is a man who had everything, or, as The Cincinnati Enquirer put it this week, he “had million-dollar hands but a 10-cent head.”

And it is that “10-cent head” that interests us today for it once wore a helmet with a flying WV on it.

Let us begin by noting that this university — any university — should not be allowing 10-cent heads into what is an institute of higher learning, no matter how fast they can run, no matter how high they can jump or no matter how much money they can create for the school through their athletic abilities.

Let us also note that certainly the roots of Henry’s discontent were laid long before he arrived in Morgantown, in the small Louisiana town in which he was raised and praised, where whatever discipline was supposed to be instilled in a young high school athlete failed to take hold.

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Bob Herzel
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