Modell: Morris unlikely to miss any more games Probation violations were excused, he says

October 16, 1997|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Ravens owner Art Modell predicted yesterday that running back Bam Morris will play the final 10 games of the team's season.

Morris faces a Nov. 25 hearing in a bail revocation case in Rockwall, Texas. The prosecutors are charging he violated his probation by drinking alcohol and missing meetings with his probation officer.

If his bail is revoked, he would miss the team's final four games, but Modell said: "He'll last the year.

"We're not sure we have all the facts on that deal yet. We have reason to believe that there are excused absences with his probation officer, excused because he was playing for us. I want to let him have his day in court. He knows he had a humbling experience, a sobering experience last weekend, and he will last this year and hopefully beyond this year. He's a very good person, but he needs to do some growing up. He has to accept some responsibilities."

When Modell was asked if it would be a risk to sign Morris to a new contract at the end of the season, he said: "We'll measure that at the end of the year. We'll judge his behavior. If it's OK, we'll judge that. If not, believe me, he's gone. I'm not threatening him. I'm just saying we want only good people to play for us who are dedicated and committed to the game.

"He's a good young man. I like Bam, and the players like him very much. But he's got to measure up and take on some responsibility. But I'm not going to pre-judge him. I'm not too sure the facts are not in his favor in this regard. We'll know when he goes to court."

Morris spent Friday night in jail and then was released on $500,000 bond. He's practicing with the team this week. He received 10 years probation last year after he was charged with having almost six pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car.

Morris was suspended the first four games of this year for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, although the league has refused to disclose the results to prosecutors, citing the confidentiality clause in the league's drug policy.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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