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).
“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.