For the third time in less than two years, a Missouri basketball player was arrested for drunk driving when sophomore guard Torrence Watson was pulled over and cited for DWI by Columbia police two weeks ago.
In his first public comments since the arrest, Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin said Watson made "a very poor" decision. Watson has returned to team activities after serving a one-week suspension, as mandated by athletics department policy.
"Obviously, he's handled his situation," Martin said after a public practice Saturday at Mizzou Arena. "It's ongoing in terms of internal discipline as far as what I provide to our players, things that I don't talk about. Valuable, painful lesson. Hopefully one that you learn from and grow from.
"Very unfortunate because those are things we talk about all the time, amongst other life things. But those are things we talk about all the time. When I deal with that, you remove yourself as a coach. You're talking as a parent. What I say is, 'What happens if you take someone's life? Then what? Are you OK with sitting in somebody's prison for four to eight years.'
"That's how you have to look at those things like that. Valuable lesson. Unfortunate lesson. Hopefully he learns from it. And hopefully other guys learn from it."
Pressed further if he uses Watson's arrest as a teaching lesson for the rest of his team, Martin said, "Those are things I talk about every day. ... It goes on in society and we talk about it, because it's real stuff. Again, I try to say this as nice as I can say it right now, but yeah, we deal with it. I don't like that type of stuff. I don't like dealing with it.
"You have to appreciate life outside of being a scholarship athlete. You have to appreciate living. The gratitude of the opportunities and the humility of when I do those things, I'm making a decision. If you're making a decision to do that, then he made a very poor one."