The most noteworthy aspect of Louisville guard Kevin Ware's October speeding ticket was never that he was going 95 miles per hour in a 55 zone or that he skipped his court date on Monday afternoon.
Irresponsible as that behavior is, it would have no potential impact on Ware's basketball career were it not for Monday's revelation of what car he was driving.
When Kentucky state police pulled Ware over on Oct. 26, he was driving a 2013 Dodge Charger, a car that costs about $30,000. Matt Case, a 23-year-old Louisville student, explained to the Courier-Journal that he lent Ware his car that night to visit a friend at Western Kentucky University. Case told the Courier-Journal he works part time as a party promoter for a Louisville event management, marketing and promotion company but also insisted that he only allowed Ware to drive his car that night because the Louisville guard is one of his best friends.
"Everybody’s making this situation out like I own this car so Kevin Ware can have a car and I’m some big U of L booster," Case told the newspaper. "I’m 23. I’m paying my own school debt. The situation has been way skewed."
If Case is being honest about lending Ware his car for a night rather than letting his friend drive it for days or weeks at a time, then it's very possible he's right that no NCAA violation took place and this is a non-story. Nonetheless, it's easy to understand why this story has drawn so much interest given the notoriety of the player involved and the similarities to the ongoing case involving North Carolina star P.J. Hairston.
Hairston has been unable to play at North Carolina so far this season in part because of an investigation into whether he received extra benefits from Haydn "Fats" Thomas, a convicted felon turned party planner. Twice this offseason Hairston was pulled over by the police while driving cars reportedly rented by Thomas, the first a Chevy Camaro and the second a GMC Yukon.
It would be a shame if Ware's comeback from last March's gruesome broken leg were ensnared by NCAA issues similar to Hairston's.
Perhaps this will turn out to be as innocent as Case says it is, but it's certainly worthy of the scrutiny it has received.
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