Trash talk and off-the-field banter took a more sinister turn last week when a member of the Marble Falls (Texas) High basketball team was charged with harassment after sending a string of threatening text messages to the quarterback of a rival school.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Marble Falls senior Connor Docherty was charged with harassment by telephone, a misdemeanor, and turned himself in to Travis County Jail last Thursday.
The warrant for Docherty's arrest cited a series of threatening texts to Dripping Springs quarterback Jeff Tuck before the Tigers' game against Marble Falls on Oct. 22, a matchup which ended in a 47-10 Marble Falls rout. During the game, Tuck suffered a concussion, which kept him out of the team's season-ending loss to Cedar Park last Friday.
The texts "got pretty nasty," [Dripping Springs coach Bob] Schultz said, and Tuck was the only Dripping Springs player to receive them. The coach said he notified Dripping Springs administrators about the messages as soon as he learned of them.
"I hated that this happened," Schultz said. "The texts were as pornographic, lewd and nasty as you can imagine. I didn't want any of my players to retaliate."
While Docherty has been the only student cited in connection with the crime, the superintendent of the Marble Falls school district said multiple students were involved in the threats, though he declined to offer additional information or say whether those students might also face charges.
"They have been dealt with within the parameters of our code of conduct," Marble Falls superintendent Jim Boyle told the Statesman. "It was extremely inappropriate behavior."
In fact, the behavior was more than just inappropriate; based on the final score, it seems largely unnecessary. Marble Falls led 20-10 at halftime of the contest, then blew away the Tigers in the second half.
It's also unknown if Tuck and Docherty had a history of trash talk or other competitive run-ins. Even if they had, that would hardly provide any additional justification for the texts sent to Tuck, who plays multiple sports for the Tigers.
The bigger question now may be, what drove Docherty and any cohorts in his texting episodes so far past the realm of reasonable? It's something we may never learn.