Mac Engel

Three strikes later, Trevone Boykin's football career is over

Trevone Boykin denies the disgusting details and the account that he violently and brutally assaulted his girlfriend, but he's likely finished as an NFL player.

However the assault claim ultimately plays out, his football career is likely over, and it will be hard for anyone to ever again see him in the same soft light that he worked so hard to create in his time at TCU.

The Seattle Seahawks immediately cut the former TCU star quarterback after the WFAA report of Boykin's alleged assault against his girlfriend. For an undrafted player who went from an active NFL roster spot in 2016 to the practice squad in 2017, cutting him is an easy call.

He was arrested by Mansfield police on Wednesday.

Even if every detail of her account proves to be untrue, he was there. Again. That's on him. It's also not a coincidence. This is the third time since December 2015 that he's been involved in some sort of altercation.

Dec. 31, 2015: On the eve of the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Boykin broke TCU's curfew and wound up in a bar fight. He was charged with resisting arrest, public intoxication and assaulting an officer. Boykin was sent back to Fort Worth the next morning.

He pleaded no contest to a charge of resisting arrest and received one year of deferred adjudication.

March 27, 2017: Boykin was arrested on suspicion of marijuana and public intoxication after a car in which he was a passenger crashed in Uptown Dallas. The charges were dropped in Februrary 2018.

March 20, 2018: Boykin's girlfriend, Shabrika Bailey, alleges he strangled her during a fight in Mansfield. She also claims she was the driver during the March 2017 car crash in Uptown; she claims he was assaulting her, which caused the crash.

The first incident was explained away as a drunken college kid being just that.

The second incident was taken as a dude who got busted in the wrong car at the wrong time.

The third, however, is all too much.

Boykin was at TCU for five full years, and nothing documented happened until the night before the final game of his career.

Boykin's career at TCU on the field was full of highlight plays, wonderful and sometimes touching moments, but off the field, he was never an easy fit on a college campus.

Boykin required the full attention of the athletic department to make sure he did not veer too off the path. He never did -- until he did.

The side of Boykin the public saw was his endearing smile, laugh and personality that made him such a popular figure in the TCU community. I found him to be endearing, charming and bright.

He would sign autographs forever, and he was great with kids. His sincere sit-down chat with a young Iowa State fan before a game in 2015 wasn't an act.

This is a guy with more of an edge than the public saw. He could shake defenders easily; he could never shake off the sharp corners that do not fit in accepted society. Growing up in Mesquite, there were more obstacles for Boykin to navigate than advertised.

One element to this sad trajectory that routinely is overlooked in college sports is the transition many student athletes face when they move from one environment to another that is often completely foreign to them.

For a lot of student athletes, especially those who attend a school such as TCU, where affluence is evident from the Range Rover-decorated parking lots to the plush dorms, this transition is like going to Jupiter.

There is a reason why college athletic support staffs are bloated and busy -- keeping these young adults away from bad influences, or walking semi-straight, is a 26-hour-a-day job.

This reality excuses nothing. Everything Boykin did is on him, especially by now. We are not talking about some teenage kid. He's a pro.

Or he was.

He's only 24, and he has a college degree. Life doesn't have to be over, even if football just ended.

In the coming weeks and months, Boykin will have much to answer for and potentially explain. Bailey's testimony is horrendous. If there are text messages, video evidence and hospital proof, his denials will be worthless.

The young man who led an entire university and its fan base to some of its most enjoyable and memorable highs, and who made it all the way to the NFL for two seasons, will be just another guy who blew it.

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