After being arrested seven times, MSU running back LJ Scott still plays

Tyler Soule, Sports Editor

Red and blue flashes in LJ Scott’s rear view mirror and it feels like he’s been here before. Six times before, to be exact. It’s a well argued rumor that star athletes get special treatment in the eyes of the law and studies, something that was randomly thrown around but never really brought fully into the public eye, but LJ Scott, a Michigan State University Running back, made that rumor a reality.

LJ Scott has been arrested seven times, for the same offense, driving with no license or a suspended license, in just over a year.

Out of the seven times he’s been arrested, he has only been found guilty of the original charge once, even then, he was in Ohio, where it’s a misdemeanor and he only had to pay a fine. Every other time, he has gotten off by paying money or pleading guilty to some other charge to keep himself away from jail time. In February of 2016, he was pulled over by the East Lansing Police and charged with driving on a suspended license, but the charge was dropped in exchange for an equipment violation citation and fines totaling $500.

Scott, along with only being found guilty once for his suspended license, has gotten out of serious charges that could’ve landed him in jail for a good amount of time.

In April of 2016, Scott was involved in a crash, and left the scene. At the time of his arrest, he was charged with leaving the scene of a crash, a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio, and driving without a valid license. The first charge could’ve put him in jail for up to six months, up to $500 in fines, and up to six months added on to his already suspended license. Instead, he plead guilty to one count of reckless driving and got away with only paying $531 in fines.

MSU, after each arrest, has refused to comment on Scott still playing for them, and the organization has even let people go recently for being arrested under a more severe charge, sexual assault.

Demetric Vance, Josh King and Donnie Corley had arrest warrants out for them in June of 2017 after they were accused of sexually assaulting a woman earlier that year in January. They were unofficially kicked out of the organization a month later in February and were officially let go after their arrest warrants became public. The head coach of MSU football, Mark Dantonio, remarked on how sexual assault has no room in their community, and will withhold high standards for his community. Despite Dantonio’s standards, LJ Scott is still allowed to play and be a part of the organization after being arrested seven times, just because he is one of their star players.

Oct. 21st, 2017, Scott played in a game just a little bit after his recent arrest earlier that month for driving on a suspended license, a charge that was dropped in court for him agreeing to a plea deal. This required him to pay an unpaid ticket, which was the cause of this most recent license suspension, and a reinstatement fee.

Scott contributed in the 17-9 win over the Indiana Hoosiers, he lead the rushing side of the team in yards and carry load, also had one of their three touchdowns in that game. According to the Lansing State Journal, Dantonio was quoted saying that MSU needed him to play, and he’s paid enough financially and on the field. So just because they needed him to play, they allowed all arrests and charges to be forgotten. The 21-year old Running Back is being treated as if he can just shrug these things off and play.

If Scott stays out of trouble for the next six months, this recent charge of driving without a license will be completely dropped. Even though he’s faced this charge six other times.

According to mlive, Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams has said that once Scott pays his ticket and reinstatement fee, he is free to drive again.

Scott has shown time and time again that he can get out of these charges and play, and it’s a little too coincidental that he is the team’s star running back. Regardless of the charges, you’d think that even being arrested once would force some punishment on the football field, but MSU seems to be content with letting him play anyway.

Scott’s arrest count and the fact that he is still playing is getting almost no media, and he seems to not even be phased by the little amount of ridicule he got over social media. It almost seems like this guy thinks he is untouchable, and he should, considering how he is treated.

There is something that Graham Couch, a writer for the Lansing State Journal, said that perfectly sums up being a star athlete, “If you think the second string safety gets treated the same as the star running back — anywhere — you’re a fool. Big-time sports comes with preferential treatment.”