Dragovic, a 21-year-old senior forward on the UCLA basketball team, endured the type of year that most college athletes can only dream about. And by dream I mean nightmare.
About a year ago, Dragovic was arrested at his Los Angeles home in a domestic dispute involving his girlfriend (or then-girlfriend, if she was smart and didn’t run back to him, Rihanna style). He was taken into custody, posted $20,000 bail (Where are you getting your money, dude?), and was reinstated to the basketball program days later by head coach Ben Howland. Howland even went so far as to call Dragovic a ‘great kid’ in the aftermath of his incarceration.
Eventually, no charges were filed against Dragovic in the case, though the city attorney left open the possibility of investigation for a 12-month period.
Well wouldn’t you know that 12 months later, Dragovic managed to get in trouble again.
Just two weeks ago, Dragovic was arrested in connection with a felony warrant regarding an October incident at a Hollywood night club. The native of Serbia allegedly assaulted a man at a concert by shoving him into a glass display case.
Scheduled for arraignment on Dec. 21, Dragovic now faces the prospect of having multiple charges brought against him when his previous case is reconsidered.
None of this will prevent him from playing for the Bruins, however. Though coach Howland felt the need to slap his star with a two-game suspension, he quickly reinstated Dragovic to a struggling UCLA squad desperately in need of his services.
“”Based on what we know right now,” said Howland, “we thought it was the right decision.” Of course it was.
Regardless of the outcome of either of Dragovic’s cases, we felt the need to recognize the collegiate hoopster with an award befitting his character. So in honor of his actions, we present Seattle Sportsnet’s 2009 Scumbag of the Year Award to none other than Nikola Dragovic.