It’s time to make a statement
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 22:02
When a college athlete is charged with an assault that leaves another student bleeding and unconscious on the streets, the athletic department must take action.
Justin Lozano, a sophomore UB wrestler who competes in the 174/184-pound brackets, was arrested in connection with the assault of Joshua Rubin and harassment of Rubin’s three friends at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 16.
He continues to attend UB on scholarship and has not been removed from the wrestling team’s roster.
The real-life brawler has not faced the appropriate consequences from his school for bringing down the name of the university and beating another student.
UB’s continued endorsement of the attacker is insulting to not only the victims but also any other student.
Lozano and Clayton Reeb, a former Bulls wrestler, attacked a group of four students after a night of drinking at The Steer, where they encountered the victims.
The wrestlers followed the students for approximately three blocks until a police officer was alerted. The assailants vanished and then ambushed the four outside of St. Joseph’s University Parish, as previously reported by The Spectrum.
Lozano threw the victim head first into the concrete sidewalk of Main Street, right outside South Campus. Rubin was seizing and vomiting, according to the other victims.
Lozano was charged with second-degree assault. The athletic department will decide his future “soon,” according to Joe Kepler, assistant director for athletic communications.
The decision should be clear-cut. It’s been almost a week, and UB Athletics has yet to make an announcement.
“Why would an attempted murder[er] be allowed to return to campus?” posted an anonymous reader on the initial article.
Lozano has been accused of stomping on the victim’s head after he was unconscious on the ground. The assailants kicked Rubin repeatedly.
Lozano is innocent until proven guilty and perhaps the alleged assault is not enough cause to revoke his scholarship, remove him from the team and kick him out of UB.
But what was the 20-year-old wrestler doing drinking on South Campus the night before a match?
His bio on buffalobulls.com states Lozano chose UB for the “nightlife and great team.” According to the Student-Athlete handbook at UB, alcohol consumption by an underage athlete is “illegal and unacceptable.” The athletes are encouraged to be role models for current and prospective students of the university.
Lozano was not going to participate in the match the following day, however he was expected to attend the event and represent the Bulls. Is he the image UB wants to show its opponents?
Allowing Lozano to continue his career at UB suggests athletes are untouchable and receive preferential treatment because of the attention they bring to the school.
Is the publicity worth the risk of having a violent criminal walk the halls?
Perhaps the coaches are choosing to not announce a decision until after the case is closed because they fear Lozano will join a rival school’s team.
Students deserve better. Their parents deserve better.
Crime is certainly no stranger to Buffalo, but parents shouldn’t have to worry about brutal attacks between the students.
Reeb and Lozano seem unable to control their emotions and the skills they have learned in their sport. They seem to not grasp the severity of their actions and have continued to harass the victims.
After his arrest, Reeb sent a message via Facebook – under the name Clay ‘Whiskerbiscuit’ Reeb – to victim John Brito and asked for clarification of the previous night.
“Hey man sorry about the other night,” he wrote. “I followed my boy out of the steer [sic] and things escalated quick. Can you clear things up with me though? It was Justin and your friend who he knocked out then me and you were basically wrestling?”
“Wrestling,” he calls it.
Lozano contacted a female victim via Facebook, according to Brito. He “liked” her photos and then “un-liked” them assumingly to evoke fear in the victims.
UB Athletics must take a stance and show this behavior is unacceptable. Athletes at UB don’t deserve to have their reputation brought down by criminals. Excuse me, alleged criminals.
The victims and student body deserve an answer.
UB Athletics must drop Lozano.