Devonta Pollard, a freshman last year at Alabama, has decided to withdraw from the school, ESPN is reporting. Pollard was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping earlier this month back home in Mississippi. He allegedly took a six year old girl in order to gain leverage in an argument with his mother over land.
Alabama’s coach, Anthony Grant, released a statement today following the announcement that Pollard would be leaving the school.
“Devonta has endured a very challenging time these past few months due to the legal issues involving him and his family,” said Grant. “Our primary concern is and has always been his well-being and doing what is in his best interest. In light of the issues at hand, we felt it best to allow him the time he needed to focus solely on family without having to address his status as a student-athlete. In a recent meeting with Devonta, he informed me that he and his family have decided that he needs to withdraw from The University of Alabama so that he can be closer to his family during this difficult time. Devonta has my full support with his decision. It was a pleasure coaching him this past season. As this is an ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment further.”
The allegations Pollard is facing are very serious. That being said, I do not want people to automatically assume that he is guilty. As the legal system works, he is innocent until proven otherwise and that is important to remember. Too often, people forget it and simply make up their own opinion based off what they hear in the news.
Hopefully this turns out to be a completely baseless accusation and Pollard did not commit the acts he is being accused of. He has had a tough time in his life, losing his father to cancer back in high school, of course that does not excuse his actions of did kidnap a child but it helps humanize someone who is bound to get destroyed in the media in the coming months.
In a perfect world, the case will be thrown out and Pollard will be able to return to his basketball aspirations and education. We hope that in this situation, we do indeed live in a perfect world.