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Star linebacker Shayne Skov arrested for DUI

Star linebacker Shayne Skov ’13 was transported to the San Jose main jail and booked for driving under the influence at 2 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 29th, according to a report by the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS).

Linebacker Shayne Skov celebrated a sack in Stanford's 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the 2011 Orange Bowl. Skov was booked for a DUI on Sunday, Jan. 29th. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)


“We have an expected standard of excellence and conduct for our football players and Shayne failed to adhere to those standards,” head football coach David Shaw said Monday in a statement to The Daily through Jim Young, senior assistant athletic director of communications and media relations.


“It’s a matter we are taking very seriously,” Shaw said. “Shayne will be responsible to adhere to any legal responsibilities regarding this event, along with internal ramifications, which will be determined by the program.”


Young declined to comment on how this incident may affect Skov’s standing with the team.


The SUDPS incident report named Skov as the arrestee and noted that the incident occurred at “Blackwelder Court @ Escondido Road,” which is near Skov’s on-campus residence.


The junior inside linebacker led the team in tackles in the 2010 season, despite missing the first two games due to injury. He recorded 12 tackles and three sacks against Virginia Tech in Stanford’s Orange Bowl victory in Jan. 2011. Skov had 19 tackles and two sacks in just two and a half games this past fall before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season.


Frequently described by teammates and media as the soul of the defense, Skov made pre-season watch lists for several awards, including the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, both of which honor the best defensive player in college football, and for the Butkus Award, which rewards the best linebacker in the country. Skov also earned a Pac-12 Conference All-Academic honorable mention in 2011, meaning he maintains at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA.


SUDPS spokesman Bill Larson said that Skov’s case is in the process of being referred by SUDPS to the Palo Alto District Attorney’s office. The Palo Alto District Attorney’s office could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.


Recent history has shown that Stanford has not shied away from suspending or dismissing key players on championship caliber teams.


In 2007, forward Brook Lopez was suspended indefinitely from the men’s basketball team after being ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA. Lopez missed nine games before returning later that season. He was selected 10th overall that spring by the New Jersey Nets in the 2008 NBA draft.


In Oct. 2009, shooting guard Jeremy Green was suspended indefinitely from the men’s basketball team after being arrested and spending a night in jail for suspicion of felony domestic violence. No charges were filed, and Green was reinstated just one day before the start of the 2009 season. Green went on to forego his senior season and was not selected in the 2011 NBA draft.


In 2010, point guard JJ Hones was dismissed from the women’s basketball team after being arrested for driving under the influence, reckless driving, evading a police officer and resisting arrest on Stanford’s campus. Hones was dismissed just one month after the women’s team lost the national championship game to Connecticut.


These incidents stand out among recent history of Stanford Athletics. A 2010 Sports Illustrated-CBS News investigation ran criminal background checks on the players in every top-25 Division I football program, as ranked by Sports Illustrated during the preseason. The University of Pittsburgh led the list with 22 players on its roster found to have police records, while Stanford came in second to last with only one player with a police record. Texas Christian University (TCU) was the only top-25 school with no players with police records.


Three other Pac-10 schools were in the top-25 at the time of the investigation: Oregon (seven players), USC (seven) and Oregon State (four). Utah (five) was not in the Pac-10 at the time of the investigation, but is now a member of the Pac-12, formed in 2011.


Stanford’s linebackers are likely to be one of the strongest units on the team next season, with Skov and redshirt junior Chase Thomas attracting serious NFL attention.


ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper rated Skov as the No. 3 senior inside linebacker for next year, writing, “Skov is an interesting prospect, and if he’s fully healthy the Stanford defense is going to be quite good.”


Alice Phillips contributed to this report.

About Billy Gallagher

Billy Gallagher is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. He has previously worked at The Daily as editor in chief, a managing editor of news, news desk editor, sports desk editor and staff development editor. He is a junior from Villanova, PA majoring in Economics. He is also a writer for TechCrunch.
  • Jfo236

    Lopez was academically ineligible. The team did not mete out any punishment beyond whatbwas required by NCAA rules

  • Ben

    Remember Cameron Jordan, cal fans… 

  • Ben

    Everyone makes mistakes. 

  • Guest

    “The junior inside linebacker led the team in tackles in the 2010 season, despite missing the first two games due to injury. He recorded 12 tackles and three sacks against Virginia Tech in Stanford’s Orange Bowl victory in Jan. 2011. Skov had 19 tackles and two sacks in just two and a half games this past fall before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season.
    Frequently described by teammates and media as the soul of the defense, Skov made pre-season watch lists for several awards, including the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, both of which honor the best defensive player in college football, and for the Butkus Award, which rewards the best linebacker in the country. Skov also earned a Pac-12 Conference All-Academic honorable mention in 2011, meaning he maintains at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA.”

    I guess I fail to see the anti-athlete slant here. It actually seems quite complimentary of Skov’s worth to the team…

  • Chris

    How bad of a DUI was it – there’s a huge difference between a .10 and a .25….
    For his sake, I’m hoping it’s the former so that this can be overlooked.

  • Mitt

    It’s fair to say this is Obama’s fault.

  • Jcpardell

    And he only atoned for that by becoming his high school’s class president while becoming an outstanding student-athlete. Let’s be realistic. Many of us at Shayne’s current age probably had done the same thing. The only difference is he got caught. He won’t let this beat him and he’ll take his consequences like a man.

  • Chatham Hale Forbes Sr.

    College seems always to have been the time when students learn how to handle liquor, or how not to handle it. Nothing new about these Stanford cases. And not to excuse irresponsible kid mistakes. But that’s what they are. That’s also how they learn consequences. Skov is a fine young man. He’ll  face the music, pay the penalty, and learn from this.  He’ll be back from this, and from his injury of last season. JJ Hones was also rehabing from a serious re-injury, but couldn’t come back, for one thing because she graduated.  

  • Chatham Hale Forbes Sr.

    Mitt: Brilliant insight, as usual. No one else is smart enough to make this connection.

  • I love my Cardinal!

    The university and the team will take this serious, just as Skov will.  He’s a leader and he understands this is not how he needs to enter his Sr year and how he is viewed. Especially since his younger brother is also on the team.  Stand up, take your punishment which will most likely include a lot of community service (high school talks about drinking and driving), and walking the straight talk from here on out.  He’ll make us proud about his character from here on out, so don’t count him out! 

  • Guest

    LOL. please do explain to me how the college newspaper “accreditation” process works.

  • Anonymous

    Just for the record.  JJ Hones was driving a golfing cart, not a car.

  • From Piedmont Too

    Im from Piedmont, and while I dont know the Skov’s well, I do know them.  Anyone who uses this event to make a personal attack on the father, and to call Shayne a thug, is saying more about themselves than about this incident.  

    Why dont you post your name so I can give this board some context to your comments?

  • Llg5075

    Yeah, I knew billy in high school… He was an athlete. He wasn’t stuffed in any lockers, nor is he looking for revenge. But if that makes you feel better about yourself for not being as cool as him, I understand.

  • Bob

    This is unfortunately the downside of recruiting top football players — risk of incidents like this.  People will make excuses that “all young people behave this way,” “all Stanford student-athletes are upstanding citizens,” “just look at university X who is way worse,” “even Yale has things like this occur,” “this will be a great learning experience for Shayne,” etc.  But this type of incident is more typical of what you’d see at football factories like Ohio State and Tennessee — and we are now competing with exactly those institutions to recruit football players.  Hope David Shaw responds strongly, and that we don’t begin to reap what we sow…

  • Lesmoulins

    What a knee-jerk condemnation.  And the operative word here is ‘jerk’

  • Bob

     This is the flip side of recruiting higher-caliber athletes.  People will rationalize this by making excuses such as “all students do this,” “people who criticize athletes are just nerds who don’t get it,” “this even happens to football players at Yale,” “it will be a great learning experience for Shayne,” etc.  But the truth is that this type of stuff seems to affect D1 athletes all the time, especially at football factories at Ohio State and Tennessee — and we are now competing with those schools for the same pool of athletes.  On the Stanford football boards, people are always criticizing football players from Oregon, SEC schools, etc for getting arrested while coaches look the other way (“the fine upstanding student-athletes at Stanford are better than the thugs at your school — and your coaches are criminal for not kicking them off your teams”).  Hope that people will see the irony in this, that Coach Shaw will have a strong response, and that we don’t reap what we sow while trying to become a big-time football factory.

  • dibby

     hey neck beard–
    I do know the Skov’s well and what happened to Shayne is an  unfortunate situation and he will learn and grow from this.    The lack of intelligence of your comment shows the lack of intellectual capital you are dealing with, FYI the Piedmont School system had more to do with he and his brother leaving piedmont than anything else…..a statement about the public education system in this state more than anything.

  • Guest

    Dear Wewinatlife,

    You are an idiot. 


  • Stanford Alum

    Billy, I think you were wrong to post this article. I would certainly expect a professional member of the media to write such a piece, but for an amateur writer at a school paper to bring such negative attention to a fellow student and their university is borderline disgraceful. Would some other media outlet have figured it out and reported about it eventually? Probably. But the fact is you chose to rat out one of your peers so you can get ESPN to say “Originally reported by the Stanford Daily.” But congrats to both you and the Stanford Daily! You dug up some dirt (on a fellow student!) and got some recognition. Hope you’re proud of yourselves.

    BTW, getting a DUI is despicable and in no way do I excuse what happened. Shayne is a good kid, and I’m sure he is more upset with himself than anyone else is. I’m certain he will accept his punishment and move forward and better himself.

  • Nate


    Even at .10, that would mean that the 224-lb Skov had the equivalent of 6 shots in one hour.  Anybody with the perception that .10 is a low blood-alcohol concentration is fooling him/herself.

    So while you are correct that there is a huge difference between .10 and .25, there is also a huge difference between safe to drive and .10. 



  • Guest

    Right, since it’s the job of a student-journalist to serve as a cheerleader. Skov is a major part of the Stanford community, a community that is more than entitled to read about a potentially devastating blow to the football team. Blaming Billy or The Daily for publishing the story is a joke. 

  • Guest

    Shayne is very good at a game, and as a result gets untold positive attention.  He gets to attend a top 5 university in the world, be idolized by peers/fans, and likely receive a multimillion dollar contract in his early 20s.  That comes with the trade-off of being under increased scrutiny.

    A lot of people, including the majority of the football team, have talked about this article as a sensationalized story.  The sensationalized stories are the ones about “epic wins” that allow you to be champions on campus and get rallies held in your honor.  This is a non-biased reporting of a situation that affects the football team and the Stanford community – so long as we pay for tickets to game and travel to bowls, we are most certainly entitled to know of situations like this.

    Everyone needs to stop thinking that only positive articles should be written.  This is a news organization and it is their responsibility to inform the reader on news pertinent to their lives.  This definitely qualifies.  I applaud Billy and the Daily for maintaining journalistic integrity and offering a non-biased account of what the reader deserves to hear.

  • Guest

    Stanford Alum, the only thing that is “wrong,” “borderline disgraceful,” and “negative” to the university is Shayne Skov getting arrested, not the student newspaper reporting objective (and public) facts. Should local newspapers stop reporting scandals in local government because it brings negative attention to the city? Should CNN stop reporting scandals in Washington because it makes the U.S. look bad? It is The Daily’s duty to report Stanford-relevant news, both the good and the bad.

  • Jedipotential

    I got a lot of information from this article as a Stanford fan.  I’m concerned about the reputation of Stanford and the article provided information on how Stanford has fared in background check rankings.  I’m concerned about the effect on the team and the article provided history on how Stanford athletics has handled similar situations in the past.

    I think Coach Shaw should be strict, but I also think Shayne Skov should be given a chance to make himself better from this incident.

  • Candid One

    Wow, you’re essentially advocating an “anti-snitch” policy for journalists, huh?  Whoa!  Great product of a Stanford education, not.

  • friend of shayne

    When I read this my first reaction was that it was more likely than not an uber zealous campus cop trying to make a big deal out of nothing…..does anyone know what Shayne did in his car that would have warranted getting pulled over?? Was that ever reported??  If the whole story were told then maybe the outrage would be focused on the uber nazi like campus police….

  • Joe 12-Pack

    If you get paid to play at USC that is a horrible crime. But if you play for Stanford and get a DUI, you should get a pat you on the back and second chance – especially if you are All-Pac-10.

  • Brett Collins

    I’m a big Stanford fan and I go to about every one of their games, but I can’t believe why some people are stupid enough to get DUIs.

  • rusoviet

    This thug is going to be ‘the Farm’s’ own version of Richie Incognito – what a violent looking monster.