Sporting News- Baylor basketball forward Rico Gathers was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing a cart full of household items from a Walmart.
Police said Gathers was spotted by a store employee loading two pillows, a tote bag, a water dispenser and trash can into his shopping cart before leaving the retailer in Waco, Texas, on June 1, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The items were valued at $171.
The employee recognized Gathers, who police said has been suspected of stealing items during previous visits to the store, and provided investigators with surveillance footage from the incident two days later.
Gathers turned himself in Tuesday and was charged with theft under $500. He was released Wednesday after posting $1,000 bail.
Have we reached the point where we get to start considering the NCAA an accomplice for all these crimes? Stealing crab legs from Publix is one thing. Stealing pillows and a tote bag is undoubtedly another. I wouldn't exactly consider a trash can a luxury. Come on NCAA. I know a majority of these athletes are getting their entire education covered financially, but they are kinda responsible for making your organization a multi-billion dollar industry. Would it kill you to buy them a couple of household necessities? Rico Gathers is a college kid. If he gets caught stealing you expect the basket to be full of video games, condoms, and booze. When it's something as menial as a place to put garbage then that's egg on your face. Pretty strong indictment of how tight funds for a D1 college athlete.
As much as the NCAA is at fault for student athletes living like homeless people, I can't completely absolve Rico Gathers of all the blame here. I know it's probably different for someone that weighs in at 6'8, 271 pounds, but you got to be a better thief than this. I know it's hard to stay under the radar when you are taller than most of the display cases in the store, but is a little subtlety too much to ask for? If there is anyone as dumb and clueless as a Walmart shopper it's a Walmart employee. Maybe bring a friend and have him act as a distraction. Maybe don't make bi-weekly visits to the same store and never visit the checkout counter. You don't exactly have a very forgettable face or body type. You go back to the well too many times it might run dry. Either that or they'll just catch you trying to steal a water dispenser. Same difference.
P.S. 'Gathers' as a last name for someone that gets caught stealing is poetic justice.