It started out oddly ... and stayed that way.
The assault allegation against Marshawn Lynch that became news Monday morning via an unusual and mostly unsolicited release from the Bellevue Police Department ended Wednesday night. That's when the Bellevue PD issued a statement ending its investigation and clearing the Seahawks running back of a woman's allegations he had committed assault and personal-property damage.
“He was not involved in this incident in any way,” the Bellevue PD’s statement read.
So that's that.
The statement did note the investigation remains open and ongoing. But it no longer will involve Lynch or the Seahawks.
When I was at The Associated Press from 2005-2010, we had the hard-and-fast rule that we didn't publish unsubstantiated allegations on anyone, until there was a charge or at least an investigation. When the police statement came out Monday, I and News Tribune sports editor Darrin Beene applied the same standard and agreed not to report it (I detailed that process here on the blog Monday). As I wrote then, anyone can accuse anyone else of anything.
What made this situation different was the police department issuing what amounted to a pre-emptive statement of the allegation against Lynch, after what it said was a media inquiry about it, and then stating it was starting an investigation. The AP put this allegation on its national wire because it had been confirmed officially by a law-enforcement agency; it wasn't merely one citizen accusing another in a heresay manner. And it was now a confirmed investigation by the Bellevue PD.
I wrote Monday about the accusation only after I spoke to the public information officer at the Bellevue Police Department and asked him if the investigator would be speaking to Lynch about it. After all, an "investigation" could mean as little as cursory review of the facts without actually involving Lynch directly. When Officer Seth Tyler told me “We are going to be reaching out and talking to him, yes,” that was the shred of news that to us at the TNT made it worthy of a blog entry and a six-inch story in the next day's paper.
On Tuesday the Seahawks released their unusually strongly worded rebuttal that the allegations against Lynch were "bogus." That was indicative of how strong they believed the evidence the team was, that Lynch was adhering to the Seahawks' training-camp curfew and bed-check requirements this past Saturday night/early Sunday morning in question.
To me, the whole thing is a shame. For many reasons -- not the least of which being that assault, especially assault against women, is such serious problem in our society.
Again, I keep getting reminded of one of the lone, confirmed facts amid all this: Anyone can accuse anyone of anything.
Now back to football...
--Before that news broke late last night, I filed for today's News Tribune a story detailing wide receiver Ricardo Lockette's true value to the Seahawks right now. That value shows also the sure-fire path by which undrafted, young reserves can make the Super Bowl champions this month: with relentless work on special teams.
Two things that jumped out to me in reporting this one:
1.) Seahawks special-teams coach Brian Schneider timed Lockette running a 3.93 40-yard dash last week in the preseason opener at Denver -- over the first 40 yards of his coverage of a kickoff. Sure, it was with a moving-forward start on a kickoff, but ... a 3.93?!
2.) Lockette, the guy who blew up a Saint and then a 49er with crunching hits on punts in last season's NFC playoffs, says this is his best skill off the football field: "Poetry." He said he's good at that because he's bad at singing and rapping.
--Industrious, energetic TNT intern Evan Thompson had a bigger notebook planned for yesterday from practice, but unfortunately space limitations in today's paper reduced his day in Renton to a three-dot notebook at the end of the Lockette story. It includes Thompson's news that center Max Unger expects to play Friday's exhibition in Seattle against San Diego. Unger had been out from last Wednesday into this Tuesday with a groin strain. The notes also include Pete Carroll telling Seattle's KJR radio on Wednesday that left tackle Russell Okung won't play Friday. Okung returned last week to practice for the first time since offseason toe surgery.
Intern Thompson (on Twitter at @evanthompson_11) is a senior at Central Washington University. Look for more work from him in the News Tribune soon.
--John Boyle of The Herald in Everett writes one way to affront Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is to label him as merely a slot receiver.
--Veteran writer and reporter Claire Farnsworth of Seahawks.com talked to wide receiver Percy Harvin, who says "I’ve actually reached some gears that I didn’t know I had. I’m feeling very, very fast right now.” If that proves to be true, that would be bad news for opposing defensive coordinators, eh?
--The team has a walk-through practice scheduled to go from noon-1:15 p.m. today in Renton. I will be there.