It's gotten to the point where if someone is driving with University of Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas in the car, there's a decent chance that the cops will eventually be involved.
Fortunately, if the cop who pulls over said quarterback-schlepping driver happens to be an Oregon fan, there's also a good chance that things will turn out OK.
The latest incident is actually from June, but the dash-cam video of the stop was just published by KTAU.
It started on June 12 at 4:30 a.m. when Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris was clocked by Oregon State Police going 118 mph in a university-owned Nissan Altima on I-5 near Albany, Ore.
For context, it should be noted that Thomas was also in the car when Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was pulled over for possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license (that arrest would eventually lead to the end of Masoli's career). Thomas was also in the car when linebacker Eddie Pleasant crashed his vehicle while racing and injured two teammates.
But back to the June incident.
The following is a snippet of the conversation between Harris and the OSP trooper.
Trooper: "What's the reason for the speed this morning?"
Harris: "Just trying to get to home."
Trooper: "Who's got the marijuana in the car?"
Harris: "We smoked it all."
Trooper: "You smoked it all? I don't know if I believe that."
Here's the full dash-cam footage.
Now, if you don't want to watch the full 14-minute video, know that the car also has a couple non-football-playing friends inside, and the the trooper--David Stallsworth--gives everyone an earful about how stupid driving 118 mph is.
The trooper also tries and fails to get anyone to admit to smoking marijuana, though the car's passengers all seem willing to blame the non-football players.
But at some point Trooper Stallsworth gets more than a bit starry-eyed at having pulled over two of his favorite team's players, asking Harris as he prepares to do a field sobriety test "Is that the championship ring? Can I look at it?"
He also reminds the players that "You guys are a pretty important part of the program down there" and calls his supervisor to tell him who's in the car and how "I just want to do what's right here."
In the end Trooper Stallsworth doesn't look for any pot, doesn't tow the car or hand out a DUI, and he lets Harris drive home.
The trooper does, however, hand Harris a $1,600 ticket for speeding--so it's not a complete let-off.
But one still has to wonder if any of their own run-ins with the law might have turned out differently if they were sporting Pac-10 Championship bling.