Associated Press wrote:EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota coach Mike Tice said Friday he would consider reducing playing time as punishment for Vikings found to have acted inappropriately -- or criminally -- on the infamous boat party allegedly involving several players earlier this month.
Tice said he didn't expect any sanctions to emerge before Sunday's game against Green Bay. Hennepin County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Haans Vitek said Friday there was nothing new to report in regard to the investigation.
"It could be weeks. It could be months. It all depends," Vitek said. "We have to interview a lot of people ... we're not putting any timeline on it."
Earlier this week, Tice reiterated his disappointment -- but maintained the organization's stance of withholding specific comment until the case is closed.
"There are a lot of good guys and good women in this organization," Tice said. "There are a lot of good guys on the team. It is a shame that allegedly a few used poor judgment to put us in this distracting position."
Tice cited a league survey that ranked Minnesota first in community-service appearances last season.
"I think that reflects some of what we are about as Vikings," Tice said. "Unfortunately there are a select few. I think there was a movie called, 'Above the Law.' ... It is a shame."
Several players organized an outing for teammates and friends on a pair of charter cruises the night of Oct. 6 on Lake Minnetonka, during their bye week.
Stephen Doyle, an attorney representing the boat owners, has said that crew members complained of wild, lewd behavior -- including visible sexual activity -- and feared for their safety.
Doyle also said that some of those aboard tried to protect the staff from harm and apologized for the unruly behavior. Running back Mewelde Moore is the only player known to have publicly acknowledged his attendance, but he denied that any sexual misconduct took place.
"I can promise you that the players want to see this thing come to head," Tice said. "They want the truth to be out there. I don't think at this point any of the players are very comfortable that the real story is out there.
"I have purposely not gotten into conversations or debates with any players about the alleged incident. I'm letting the proper circles handle that. Then I'll be notified about what the findings are, and then I'll act accordingly -- as will our owner."
Owner Zygi Wilf scolded the team in a brief meeting last week and vowed to dole out the appropriate punishment -- be it releasing, suspending or fining a player. He also said the organization will create a code of conduct, which has not yet been completed.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told Wilf last week that the franchise he bought from Texas businessman Red McCombs this summer was "inadequately structured and staffed." Wilf has also been critical of the shape the Vikings were in when he took over.
McCombs, speaking on Sporting News Radio Thursday, lashed back at the New Jersey real estate developer.
"I don't know what Mr. Wilf has been smoking," McCombs said. "I have no idea. I know that I turned over to him one of the better sports organizations in the country. I've been an owner in sports for 50 years. I do know a little bit about it.
"It's a bit disingenuous to tell somebody in the middle of June that one of the reasons they purchased the club was the organization and the roster and everything that had been put in place. Then, when they get to be 1-4 and have a few bumps in the road, say the former owner was at fault. I don't want to get into a kicking match with Mr. Wilf. I never have kicked him, and I would appreciate it if he didn't kick me."
McCombs didn't return calls from The Associated Press this week. Wilf was unavailable to comment Friday. And Tice didn't seem to care.
"I'm trying to win a game," he said.
A victory over the Packers and losses by the Bears and Lions would put the Vikings in a tie for first place, but Tice said he didn't anticipate any particular team going on a winning streak and running away with this weak NFC North division.
"If you evaluate the teams, I don't see how you can see that."
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I'm not sure where, I think ESPN, but I read just about every player of importance was there...Kevin Williams, Burlson, Moore, Culpepper, Udeze, Johnstone...everyone. If they bench all these guys they are unequivacably mailing in the season.
I say they get fined and that's it.
*edited to fix my horrible grammer
Last edited by Smee on Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
To put a cynical spin on this, I think it basically means that Tice knows that they're going nowhere this season. As fans, most of us know they suck (no offense, Viking fans...y'all laughed at our problems for years, so now we get a turn ), but a lot of coaches still need to retain confidence with their team. Here me out...if Tice benches some of these stars, they won't have the best team on the field. Sure, spectators may call for suspensions, but that would not be in the best interest of the team put on the field. If Tice is even considering benching them...well...
And to just say it again...jesus...this isn't that big a deal. It's just that they were unlucky enough to actually get caught. This and far worse things happen in that world all the time.
"The son of Bobby Bowden once again proved he's as predictable as a Julia Roberts' movie.
And upon further review, just as sappy, too."
-Naples Daily News
Joined: 27 May 2003
Yards this season: 0
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Trying to clog the leaky Bengals defense with plastic putty...
As of late Tuesday, the names of 15 of the 17 Vikings on the charter boats, as identified by crew members, had been made public in various reports. Included on the list were: Culpepper, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, tight end Jermaine Wiggins, receiver Nate Burleson, running back Mewelde Moore and safety Darren Sharper, among others.
According to Doyle, the lawyer for the cruise company, defensive end Lance Johnstone made the down payment with a credit card and cornerback Fred Smoot signed the contract.