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Reports Expound Fab Melo’s Anger Issues

While he hasn’t yet been given the opportunity to defend himself in a court of law, the case against Fab Melo continues to build, and the details are piling up at a rate faster than his fouls on the hardwood. After more information was revealed on Thursday, we’ve learned that what allegedly happened last weekend was by no means an isolated incident.

Not only are there additional details about Melo’s relationship with the woman involved, but we also know that he exhibited similar behavior while around the team, kicking over trash cans, refusing to listen to coaches and being altogether disinterested in improving. It stands to reason that the reason given for Melo’s two-game suspension back in February, “missed practices,” was sugar-coated coachspeak used to mask the big man’s short fuse and lack of desire to show the work ethic necessary to be successful. Family problems were also cited for Melo’s missed time, but at the time, we had little reason to believe that they involved anything instigated by Melo himself.

Additionally, as another site pointed out, it’s worth it to take a look back at Jim Boeheim’s manufactured media crusade following the Louisville game, which coincided with the suspension. At the time, it seemed like Boeheim was making a mountain out of a molehill, and while I still believe that, it very well may have served an additional purpose – to distract the SU community and media (plus bloggers) from a more important problem.

At the time, it was my position that while Boeheim’s struggles against Rick Pitino weren’t insignificant, it seemed odd for him to make it such a point of contention that it was necessary for him to dispute facts on national media platforms. We all know Jim Boeheim likes to pick his battles, but I thought it was strange for him to pick this one to needle. Maybe his feelings about his record against Rick Pitino are genuinely that passionate, but I wouldn’t rule out an additional motive.

From a basketball perspective, it’s easy to understand why Boeheim would want to defend his player by deflecting attention to another issue. Crisis management is part of his job, and every other college coach’s job for that matter. Where other coaches would have immediately suspended their players until things calm down, Boeheim has traditionally deferred to the legal process before making any decisions regarding a player’s future.

Now, by no means am I excusing or rationalizing Melo’s alleged actions, but he’s been in the states for only two years (on campus for one), is a public figure at SU, and he came to school with a boatload of expectations brought on by scouts and media. I’m far from a certified sociologist, but I imagine it’s a lot to manage, and if someone’s wired a certain way, they can just lose it. Based on sources close to the basketball program, it’s clear that Melo has problems with anger management, and perhaps those issues stem from the frustrations of dealing with the adjustments he’s had to make over the last couple of years.

There are many indiscretions that most can overlook when it comes to athletes, but violence against women is nowhere near that list. While the allegations of domestic abuse are hearsay at this point, the smoke has only grown thicker in the course of a day, as more reports of his personal life have come to light and Syracuse hoops insiders have spoken of his similarly short temper in the gym. Melo and SU’s team of attorneys will have a chance to state their case later this month, but what we thought only Wednesday morning was marginal property damage has escalated into something much more concerning.

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