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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Punishment still likely, but details murky in Talib case



I'll start by saying Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib has arguably earned whatever punishment comes his way as a result of his arrest Wednesday night for simple battery and resisting arrest without violence.

His track record of not respecting authority and his inability to control his temper alone make him an unsympathetic figure.

But as to the details of this most recent incident, they remain murky. Neither Talib nor the other two passengers in the car -- we believe they were Talib's teammates -- have been heard from publicly. And there still is no motive for the alleged punching, which the cab driver says was unprovoked. That's a very big missing link in this story, too.

That's not to suggest any of what was alleged was justified. And a player with Talib's well-documented past needs to be more willing to restrain himself regardless of the situation.

But when judging the Bucs' actions -- or thus far, the lack thereof -- on this issue, it's important to remember the aforementioned circumstances. Say this case was later dismissed, the Bucs might be asked by the players' union to explain their actions if the team was to suspend Talib. Remember former Bucs linebacker Cato June's DUI arrest in 2007? Sure, but did you also know the case was dismissed last year?

Precedent is also another issue the Bucs have to consider. When players are suspended, the action is usually the result of a felony, not misdemeanor charges. Both of Talib's charges are misdemeanors.

It's still possible Talib could be suspended. The Bucs may even prefer that considering the numerous fines he's been assessed seemingly haven't gotten through to him. Seeing how general manager Mark Dominik practically kicked Talib out of his office when approached by the player Thursday morning, the team certainly seems annoyed by the guy.

But this matter is a little more complex than it may seem, and that makes dealing with the discipline tougher, too.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:38pm]


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