You can't hide court documents and police records. Since it's public information, someone is bound to find out if someone got cited.
Such is the case with 18-year-old BYU junior running back Jamaal Williams, who was cited on Feb. 16 and charged with being a minor with a measurable concentration of alcohol in his blood, breath or urine, a class B misdemeanor. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
Add in a pretrial conference scheduled for March 19 (which was continued until May 7) in the Utah County Justice Court under Judge Steven W. Ridge and it's pretty clear that the case was bound to attract the media's attention at some point.
That's why I find it hard to believe that BYU — both the university and the football program — was blindsided by this when the information came to light this weekend.
Williams has been practicing with the Cougars throughout March during spring camp and has frequently talked to the media. He's always personable and interesting but I wonder if he cringed every time he was approached by reporters, wondering if this was the time someone would start questioning him about the incident.
But there are still a number of things that have yet to be resolved.
The first is the legal question, since a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
As anyone who has spent any time around the court system knows, those extremes are rare. Usually something is worked out between the prosecutor and the defense long before a trial and sentencing.
I do find it interesting that Williams pled not guilty. It could mean his attorney, Aaron Wise of Spanish Fork, is working things out with the prosecutor.
Or it could mean he's not guilty.
That question will play out in the courts over the next few months but the more significant question to BYU football fans is how will it impact his status on the team.
If Cougar head football coach Bronco Mendenhall already knew about the incident and feels like he has a pretty clear understanding of what the situation is, than it seems clear by Williams's participation that he is still in good standing with the team and the university.
That could be a good sign moving forward — but there is always the possibility that Mendenhall and BYU weren't aware of what was going on.
If that's the case (and he's guilty), Williams could be in a lot more trouble. It would be compounding the initial mistake by trying to hide it from people who were going to find out about it eventually.
We'll probably learn more about what the university and the football program know today. Even silence would imply they were already aware of what was going on and feel like it's under control.
I think Williams is a really good young man who is smart enough not to try and hide something that really couldn't be hidden. I respect his family and believe that they would counsel the prudent course, which is to face the situation head on and take care of it.
Now the rest of us just have to wait to see how things unfold.