Dumisane Hlaselo isn't your average college athlete. Just this past year in fact, Hlaselo had a pretty good track season. He won the 3,000 meter championship at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships and ran the University of Florida's first sub-four minute mile. As a former cross country and track athlete, I've always likened a sub-four minute mile to throwing a no-hitter in baseball. Maybe a perfect game.
Sadly, things turned tragic after the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Hours after the completion of the Championships, Dumisane entered his roommate's room and allegedly raped a young woman. This isn't the first mention of the incident here at Alligator Army, but this is something that deserves more.
According to recent reports, Hlaselo has retained an attorney who is pretty much the Gators attorney of choice: Huntley Johnson Jr., who has represented, among others, Janoris Jenkins, Cam Newton, Dan Werner and Chris Rainey.
Johnson has made a few public comments regarding the case:
"The charge is very severe," Johnson said. "I take based on what I know from my investigation that this case is…I just have one word for it. This case is a tragedy."
"I would say that his career at the University of Florida is over, and I’m only concerned about the criminal case at this point, so I don’t have any other observations as to that," Johnson said.
"The way it works is there’s an arrest and then the state attorney’s office makes a decision about what charges to file after they’ve conducted their investigation," Johnson said. "So they can either charge more or less."
Hlaselo who is from South Africa, remains in custody (Alachua County Jail) on $100,000 bond. He is currently only being charged with sexual assault, but he also allegedly admitted to having raped the woman to police.
With so much more potential, Hlaselo, who is a junior, would have certainly been a favorite not only in the SEC but also the NCAA to win a national championship or two. He will not get that chance: he has already been kicked off the team. And I'm fine with that.
But as always, we must let the legal process run its course (...it is Florida, though) and, hopefully, justice will be served.