Kansas University guard Jeff Hawkins, who was cited by Lawrence Police for leaving the scene of an accident Sunday morning after he struck another car while trying to cut in line at a fast-food drive-through lane, was handed a one-game suspension by coach Bill Self and served it Tuesday night against Baylor.
Hawkins sat on the bench in suit and tie in missing the first game of his senior season. He also publicly was reprimanded by Self, who informed Hawkins and the team of the suspension Tuesday at shootaround.
"I don't need to see the police report. All I know is he embarrassed himself and the program by just not being as responsible as he should be," Self said. "I'm not necessarily upset with Jeff because he had a fender-bender in a parking lot.
"I'm upset Jeff didn't handle it in a very mature manner. I don't think he acted his age in handling the situation after he and the young lady bumped into each other. There's no question. He didn't have a choice to admit whether he did it wrong or not. It was evident he did."
Hawkins, 23, was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and not having proof of insurance.
The 25-year-old Lawrence woman whose car was struck by Hawkins' 2000 Buick told police she was trying to pull up to the drive-through speaker at McDonald's, 1309 W. Sixth St., at 2:07 a.m. when Hawkins drove up from the right-hand side and pulled in front of her, striking her 2002 Kia Spectra on the front passenger corner. The woman, identified as Lindsey A. Frye, told police that when she got out and told Hawkins he had hit her, he blamed her for the collision.
Hawkins then went ahead and ordered his food, police said. Minutes later, an officer who was called to the scene stopped him as he was driving out of the parking lot, according to the report.
Hawkins told the officer "he had no idea" what happened and said his car didn't strike the other car, police said.
Police said the officer who stopped Hawkins did not have any reason to suspect Hawkins was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Self said he found out about the accident Sunday and spoke to Hawkins immediately after learning of the incident. He pretty much had decided on the game suspension Sunday but waited until Tuesday to tell Hawkins and the team.
"The incident is not a big deal," Self said. "But you have to accept responsibility for that when it first occurs. I think he probably could have handled it better and not worried so much about getting his food. That's put bluntly enough."
It's not yet known whether the incident will affect the diversion agreement Hawkins reached with the Lawrence city prosecutor's office in October 2005 after he was charged with having a stolen KU parking pass. City prosecutor Jerry Little could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Self said he had no idea if it would affect the diversion, but said that wouldn't have any effect on extending the game suspension.
"I would imagine I'll put some stipulations on him," Self said of the player, who also was suspended by Self during the 2004-05 preseason for undisclosed reasons and didn't make the squad's preseason trip to Canada.
"This is very disappointing to his family as well," Self said. "We all have had situations. All you have to do is act responsibly and maturely after situations occur."
Hawkins was unavailable for comment, but he had a quote in the game program about his senior season:
"I want to end on a positive note and not end with anything negative because I've had some negative stuff in the past. I want to switch that around and be remembered for the positive things I did."