If in doubt, sue
Former Duquesne basketball players Shawn James, above right, and Kojo Mensah, above left, are covering all the bases in case their dreams of playing pro hoops don't work out. The New York Daily News and WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh report that the pair, who were among five Dukes players shot after a school dance in September 2006, are filing suit today, claiming the school didn't do enough to protect its students. Among other things, the athletes' attorney, Teresa Torisev, claims the lingering physical and emotional effects of the shootings have hurt the players' chances of playing pro basketball. Never mind that both players made the decision to skip their senior seasons at Duquesne, sign with agents and make themselves eligible for the NBA draft. Never mind that James' foot wound was so minor that he was treated and released after the shooting. And never mind that neither was likely an NBA-caliber prospect BEFORE the shooting. Mensah has pretty much no chance of being drafted, and James is a fringe prospect. James, at 6-10, is a great shot-blocker, but the rest of his game is pretty average. Here's what the folks at NBAdraft.net had to say earlier this year after watching him play at a camp for NBA prospects: "He is very long and has a fairly fluid release on his jump shot, but he is too weak and looks somewhat out of place." Not exactly a ringing endorsement. This is what the players' attorney, Torisev, had to say about the basis for their suit: "Can you imagine being gunned down on your college campus as you're walking back to your dorm? Living with that for the rest of your life and having your career ended - it's a devastating thing." Just one problem, Ms. Torisev. You're clients' careers weren't ended. They were physically and emotionally fit to play at Duquesne this past season. If their NBA dreams fall through, as they most likely will, perhaps James and Mensah should just do what everyone else does: Quit whining and get a real job. I'm sure that partial college education will serve them well. But no, wait, it's just easier to try to get a seat on the gravy train of baseless litigation.