Former TSU Football Player Eligible to Return to School
The football team of Tennessee State University made headlines in November after a video went viral of former defensive end, Latrelle Lee, punching strength coach, T.J. Greenstone, who was responsible for keeping players away from the sideline to avoid a penalty. The viral video showed Lee hitting the coach multiple times, knocking Greenstone to the ground. The altercation took place on Nov. 11, during Senior Night and the last home game of the season at Hale stadium, located on the campus against Southeast Missouri.
An extended version of the confrontation was later released, shedding more light on the situation. The altercation resulted in Lee being removed from the team for “improper misconduct” and reportedly expelled from the school. Lee, 22, was a senior Criminal Justice major at TSU and only a few weeks shy of graduating on Dec. 9.
Lee made an attempt to appeal the expulsion decision soon after. Students rallied behind him and his decision by supporting the social media campaign “Give Lee His Degree” on both Instagram and Twitter. Lee’s close friend and student at Tennessee State University, Amani Moreland, conceived the movement.
The original Instagram post had the caption, “Latrelle Lee, an early graduate, was set to walk the stage December 9, 2017. He would have graduated in three and a half years with a 3.1 GPA and a degree in Criminal Justice. During his time at Tennessee State University, he acquired an internship in his field and was a student leader in Every Nation Campus Ministries. He held small groups in his campus apartment and helped lead his teammates through their walk with Christ. His classmates know him as mild mannered, kind, funny, and dedicated. Saturday night, his emotions got the best of him and Latrelle made a mistake. However, that moment does not accurately portray the man he is. With less than three weeks until graduation, he is too close to the end to not see it through. Let Latrelle graduate with the degree he has worked so hard to earn. The mistake does not make the man. #GiveLeeHisDegree”.
Twitter user @Kii_Danielle posted, “#GiveLeeHisDegree He’s such a nice young man; always the first one to smile and help others. Truly one of the finest examples of compassion and generosity here at Tennessee State University. He deserves his degree.”
While students of TSU were on Thanksgiving break, a warrant was issued for Lee’s arrest on Nov. 20 and charges were filed. Lee was charged with one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. The following day, Lee posted a $7,500 bond and was released.
“Once struck about the face by the defendant, the victim fell to the ground and was dazed and somewhat unconscious from the punches. The victim has subsequently been having medical difficulties as a result from the altercation,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Latrelle Lee is eligible to return to Tennessee State University in August of this year. Lee’s official court date is March 12.
Yet a startling parallel can be drawn between Lee’s situation and the latest recruit to the TSU football team. The university has accepted a new transfer student, Mekhi Brown, former linebacker for the University of Alabama.
Brown recently made headlines for his actions on the sideline during the National Championship against the University of Georgia. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound sophomore hit an opposing player on the head and lunged at a coach, attempting to attack him. Despite these engagements, Brown was not dismissed from the team, ejected from the game, or even benched. Rather, Brown was permitted to stay in the game.
According to The Tennessean, Brown’s transfer to TSU was approved in advance, having applied and been admitted more than a month before the altercation.
Mekhi Brown has officially joined the Tiger’s football team as a redshirt sophomore and will be participating in spring practice as well as being eligible to play in the upcoming season.