Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 15, Episode 16 - Gridiron Soldier - full transcript

SVU uncovers disturbing activities in a New York City college football program when a high school player disappears after a recruiting trip.

In the criminal justice system,

sexually-based offenses

are considered
especially heinous.

In New York City,
the dedicated detectives

who investigate
these vicious felonies

are members of an elite squad

known as
the special victims unit.

These are their stories.

Get that out of there.

Oh, my God, you cannot
make that call.

At the end of the game.

They like to let the players,

you know,
figure it out on the court.

I'm kinda surprised, uh...

Cedric, there you are.

I've been looking everywhere
for you.

Coach Becker.

I wasn't expecting
to see you, sir.

Well, you're going to
have to get used to that,

'cause if you
play football here,

we'll make you a star
from day one.

Come on, there's a car waiting.

Ladies, this is Cedric.

Cedric, Zoe and Tanya.

They're your hostesses
for the weekend.

- Hi.
- Hi, Cedric.

What do you think?

Help Cedric get situated, girls.

He's a long way from home.

Don't be shy, come in.

Detective, you're not
answering your phone.

Almost seems like
you're ducking us.

Why would I be doing that?

Tough loss today.

Ref blew that call.


Nice dog.

Frannie, right?

I'll get your money.

Don't go anywhere.


Nice, right?

And we have another hour
until the recruiting dinner.

Um, I'm sorry,
I should tell you...


I'm a silent commit
to Georgia tech.

That happens, but you're here.

So we've got a shot
at signing you.

The thing is, my Uncle
and I gave our word.

I've never been to New York.
Kind of why I came.

You sure there's nothing

we can do to change your mind?

It's all right.

Someone's glass needs refilling.

This party is
just getting started.

Amanda, take it easy.

Thanks for doing this.

You look good.

Sorry you're in this position.

Yeah. Well, I appreciate you

offering to bail me out.

Well, the bar's doing well

and the super bowl
is off the chain.

I'm good for it, you know?

I got a lot of o.T. Coming in,

so it'll take
a couple of weeks...

forget it.
I know I poisoned the well.

Let me make good.

- It's just a loan.
- I do have one condition.

Not that.

Not that I don't miss it.

But you're coming
to a meeting with me.

I don't want to hear
"no" from you, son.

Now, something to keep in mind,

this is the media capital
of the world,

so if you make here,
you make it anywhere.

But, still, like you said,

it is a long way from home.

My mom, my Uncle, they...
they worry about me.

Anytime you miss your family,

we can get 'em right up here
from Georgia.

Come on.

I was eight years old,
growing up in Georgia.

It was Christmas Eve
and my daddy was, um,

looking for the big win

that was going to
make everything all right.

He was so desperate, he drove us

across the Florida state line.
Dog track.

He took me and my little sister
with him.

And he actually tried
to sneak us in,

but there's no kids allowed,

And we went back
and waited in the car.

It was freezing at Christmas.

I remember our breath
fogging up the windows.

My, um, my little sister
was still asleep.

When daddy came back,
he woke me up.

You know, this big smile
on his face,

a big wad of cash in his hand.

He was, like,
"merry Christmas, Mandy.

All your dreams
are gonna come true."

Let me introduce you
to some of the other players.

- You've met Eddie.
- Eddie.

Cj, what up brother?

This is bucky dinucci,
running back.

What's up?

And Jerome fields,
outside linebacker.

There he is. What's up, brother?

Big man here isn't 100% sold
on our program.

Eddie, maybe you
and the fellas can

give him a tour of
our facilities after dinner.


When you see what
this place has to offer,

you'll be hooked, trust me.

All right.

Last stop on the tour,
the weight room,

where boys turn into men.

Oh, damn!

Better than
your high school gym?

Better than
the Atlanta falcons gym.

It makes me want
to hit the weights.

There may be something better
for you to hit.


Hi, Cedric.

Yeah, y'all don't
have to do this.

Yeah, we do.

So why don't we
just sit down, relax,

let the ladies take care of you?



Hey, rollins, just got a call
from the division.

You were top ten

in the city
for the most overtime.

Yeah, I've been swamped, man.

A bunch of stuff came in
all at once.

Yeah, you know, it's still
the beginning of the year.

It's probably better to
bank these hours, you know?

You know what?
Full disclosure...

credit cards,
the holidays, you know?

So just go through me
from now on, okay?

- Absolutely.
- Okay.

Everything all right?

NYPD needs to cut a few trees.


Can I help you?

Larry Jones. Loganville.

Your mother told me
where I could find you.

Holy crap, Larry.

I haven't seen you since...

- since high school.
- Yeah.

You spoke to my mom?

Yeah, she misses you, you know?

Yeah, um, well
this is my partner, finn.

What's up, man?

Larry and I used to
run track together.

- That's cool.
- Mm-hmm.

What brings you up here?

My nephew Cedric is missing.

He's 18. He was up here

on a Hudson football
recruitment trip

but didn't make his flight
yesterday morning.

When was the last time
you heard from him?

When he landed Saturday.
Nothing since then.

Well, it's his first time
in New York.

Maybe he met a girl,
he's out partying.

No, not Cedric.
He would have called.

He wouldn't want to
worry his mother.

Something's wrong, Amanda.

Okay, Larry.

You know what?
It's good you came to me.

We'll track his cell phone.

We'll check with the school.

- We'll find him.
- Thanks.

Come on, let me get you
some coffee.

Hey, what's that about?

His 18-year-old nephew
went missing

in the city yesterday.

What's he doing at svu?

Well, they're both
from my hometown,

and I promised him
I'd look into it.

I won't put in for it.

Do what you gotta do.

I know that, historically,
New York City

hasn't been perceived
as a college football town,

but, boy, are we changing that.

We've upgraded our facilities,

expanded our recruiting base.

I've had to change the culture

and teach our kids
what it means to be winners.

Three straight years,
our record's improved,

and we just finished
a strong recruiting weekend.

We're a few key pieces away
from an undefeated season.

Thank you, coach. Thanks, coach.

- Thanks.
- Coach Becker.

- Something I can do for you?
- Yeah, we're with the NYPD.

We're here about Cedric Jones.
Is he okay?

We were all pretty worried
when he skipped his flight.

Well, he's missing.

And he hasn't turned up yet?

That does happen
on occasion though.

These kids come to the big city
for the first time.

Their parents panic,
but they always turn up.

When's the last time
you saw Cedric?

At the recruiting dinner
on campus Saturday evening.

It ended early.

Did you see him leave,
maybe with somebody?

I didn't.
But I had ten boys up visiting.

I had to make each one of 'em

feel he was the only one
I was interested in.

Do they serve drinks
at these dinners?

Are you kidding? They're 18.

When Cedric missed
his pickup at the hotel,

you called the police?

I did. We called the ers too,
but no sign of him.

Was anybody assigned
to chaperone him or...

Yeah, actually, Eddie thorpe.

- Eddie!
- Yeah.

He's a sophomore wideout,

knows our program
better than anybody.

Hey. Eddie, your coach

said that you chaperoned
Cedric Jones this weekend.

Yeah, a little.

I heard he missed his flight.

You were with him
at the recruitment dinner?

- Yeah.
- Did you see him

leave with anybody,
maybe mention

where he was going next?

No, he was keeping to himself.

He was well behaved,
no drinking or acting out?

I don't want to rat on the kid,

but I smelled alcohol
on his breath.

He probably had a couple drinks
at the hotel mini bar.

I get the feeling
he came up here to party.

We don't know that, Eddie.

All right, up-downs next.

- Let's go, people.
- Okay.

Eddie, you were his host
and you thought

he'd been drinking and
you didn't keep an eye out?

The kid's built like a tank.

I think he can handle himself.

If you'll excuse me,
coach is preaching.

I gotta go practice.


Taru got a ping
on Cedric's cell.

It's a bar on eighth Avenue
in Chelsea.

Amaro's headed over there.

Chelsea. Really?

How well does Larry
know his nephew?

We've been holding his phone.

I remember him. I'm not blind.

No, just dumb.

He's 18 and you
let him drink in here?

He had I.D.
And with a body like that,

I wasn't going to tell him no.

He's from out of town.

He's gone missing.
Anybody talk to him?

This one boy tried to.

It didn't end well.

He got a little close to him.

The next thing I see,
your thug pushes him

off his stool,
starts swinging at him.

He pushed his way
to the front door,

and then I called the cops.

Yeah, that's the kid.

His fake I.D. Said his name
was octavius

or dontarius or
something like that.

You the one that brought him in?

Unis called me. He's this way.

I was working plainclothes,

looking for the Chelsea basher,

four gay bashes last month.

Yeah, and Cedric
fit that profile?

No, but we were a block away

when the call came in
about a gay bash.

Suddenly, this kid
bolts out of the bar.

We told him to halt.
He kept running.

He was in a blind rage.

It took four of us
to put him down.

We had to tase him.

Oh, 'cause
that's the only way to

get somebody to listen to you.

You know what? I got, uh,

I got history with this kid.

You mind if I take him?

Be my guest.


I'm detective Amanda rollins.

I'm from loganville.

Your Uncle Larry came up here
looking for you.

Please don't tell him
I'm in here.

What that guy did to me,

he should be the one
under arrest.

Keep your mouth shut,
son, let's go.

I didn't do anything.

Then you got nothing
to worry about.

He said, "get your hands
off me, homo," in a gay bar.

What the hell
was he doing there,

all right, all right,
just calm down.

Calm down? Do you see my eye?

It's cool. You're safe now.

Can you tell me if you can

see the man that attacked you?

That's him.

That's him, which one?

Four. Number four.

Okay, you did good, Freddy.

I called his Uncle.
He's on his way back.

Okay, meanwhile,
we'll interrogate him.

Copy that, sarge. I'm on it.

Not you, rollins.

Amaro and I will take it.

Ma'am, I already
told your partner

this wasn't my fault.

Okay, Cedric, so why don't you

tell me what did happen?

He was all over me at the bar.

I told him to get up off me.

I didn't want to
be getting aids.

Wait, you thought he was
going to give you aids?

He was trying to kiss me.

I told him
I don't roll like that.

By knocking him out?

He wouldn't listen.

Why'd he try
to pick me up anyways?

I'm straight!

Cedric, you do realize
that the bar

that you were in was a gay bar?

No way.

They had hockey on TV.

Was anybody watching?

Look, how'd you end up there?

I mean the Hudson campus
is way up town.

I told the cab driver

I was looking for a sports bar.

Wait a minute, y'all spoke
to the people up at Hudson?

What'd they say?

Well, that you were
at a recruiting dinner.

You missed your flight home
the next morning.

And that's all they said?

What, they leave something out?

No, no.

I just want to go home.

Cedric you're
in some trouble here.

The fake I.D. Wasn't even mine.

They had one waiting for me
in my room.

Son, you're looking at assault,

maybe a hate crime.

That's not me.

Cedric Jones doesn't hate.

Is there something
you're not telling us?

I believe I'll ask for
that lawyer that you mentioned.

The kid was I.D.'D in a lineup.

He's not denying the assault.

Let the 12th book him.

I know he's guilty.

But I have also known his Uncle

and that family my entire life.

They raised him right,

and Larry swears
he's not homophobic.

What else you expect him
to tell you?

So you're telling me that
after one night in New York,

he goes from boy scout
to a gay basher.

Now, you buying this story
about the cabby?

Cedric is a small-town kid.

The driver could've thought
it was a funny joke.

Yeah, liv, he did think
it was a sports bar.

- Yeah.
- That doesn't excuse him

from beating somebody up.
All I'm asking

is that you let us
go back to the university,

find out if something happened

to Cedric that set him off.

You know, these
football recruiting weekends,

they get a little
out of control.

Fine, follow up.

But in the meantime,

he stays locked up
on the assault.

So Cedric got arrested
for a gay bashing.

That's a shame.

At least you found him.

Yeah, it's just completely
out of character

for this kid.

We're trying to make sense
out of it.

I don't know what
I can tell you.

We brought him up here,
gave him the full pitch,

but didn't get his signature.
It happens all the time.

Ooh. Bull in the ring.

I didn't realize teams
still did that drill.

Oh, you played?

I played college, cornerback.

Good hips.

Well, then you understand.

I want these kids
to be mentally tough,

and he's learning that now.

It's a rough lesson.

Coach, we're just
trying to figure out

how Cedric ended up in Chelsea,

drunk, out of control,
after a pretty harmless

dinner with your organization.

Nothing happened on our watch.

We gave him a tour,
fed him a steak,

and talked about the team.

Whatever he did
after he left here,

that's on him.

All right.

Break it up. Break it up.

O-line, d-line, let's go to war.

You know what?
That's Eddie thorpe.

He's Cedric's host.

He said he'd smelled booze

on Cedric's breath
at the dinner.

More than the coach told us.

Eddie. Detective amaro.

How you doing?

How's it look?

Hey, you got a sec?

I talked to
your partner yesterday.

You guys still
haven't found Cedric?

Actually, he's under arrest.


What are you, a junior?

Redshirt sophomore.

Oh, you got stuck
doing that drill?

I remember I got hit with it
as a freshman.

I mean, maybe coach
is pissed off

you didn't close the deal
with Cedric.

No, that wasn't my fault.

He already committed
to Georgia tech

before he got here.

All right, so the team
gave the hard sell,

the trip up here,
the hotel room,

drinks, and he still said no?

But you guys didn't try
and convince him any other way?

I don't know what
you're getting at.

I'm sure you're a great athlete,

and a charming guy,
but you're telling me

you were the only one
on the welcoming committee?

Cedric seemed like a nice guy,

apart from him already
being committed to Georgia tech.

Well, anybody on the team
upset about that?

Why? It happens all the time.

When's the last time
you saw him?

I'm not sure.

Uh, at the recruiting dinner
I guess.

We were supposed to
take him to the airport

the next morning,
but he wasn't in his room.

We just assumed
he got on his flight

after partying all night.
Well, he didn't.

- Is he okay?
- No.

He's been arrested
for assaulting a gay man.

Oh, my God, was it Ty?

Now who's Ty?

If Cedric's filing a complaint
against me,

that's messed up.

It was just a prank.

We were hazing him.

Okay, slow down, what prank?

The guys wanted
to mess with Cedric.

I think he fooled around
with some of their girls,

even though he was already
committed to Georgia tech.

What did you do, Ty?

I didn't do anything
he didn't like.

What was the prank? Tell us now,

or this gets ugly, fast.

Fine. You don't have
to get all threatening.

Zoe and Tanya
blindfolded Cedric.

They made him think he
was going to get serviced,

you know, by them.

But, when they took off
the blindfold...

Was this your idea?

No. Look.

If the football team asks you
to do something,

you do it, all right?
That's the deal.

I didn't get hurt.
He didn't get hurt.

I'm not in trouble, am I?

Yeah, you may be.

Who put you up to this?

You want me to name names
on the football team?

They'll rip me in half,
all right?

If you want to arrest me,
arrest me.

You stay close to campus.

We'll be in touch.

Come on.

They straight-baited him.

That's why Cedric
went off on that guy

at the gay bar.

The panic defense?

He can try that in court
if he wants to.

That's just it, there
are mitigating circumstances.

And Cedric was so confused,
he didn't bring them up.

Nothing happened.

Well, we know something
happened to you.

We talked to Ty.

I don't know who that is.

The male cheerleader.

Look, if he did something
to you that

made you uncomfortable,
something that

made you confused...

listen, Cedric, we're here to...

man, get your hands off me.

I'm not gay.

I'm not a fag, all right?

Hey, take it easy, big man.

I didn't want that.

Calm down.

I didn't want any of it.

Okay, so we know that

there are mitigating

Can we tell that to the victim?

He was gay bashed,
he doesn't care why.

Can I talk to the d.A., I mean,

try to make them reconsider
charging a hate crime?

You can certainly try,
and they may

hold off for a while,
but there is no chance

that the assault charge
is going away.

And don't forget,
attacking a police officer.

No, I'm fine. I provoked him.

Let that go.

What about the football team?

I mean, when are we
charging them?

How about never?

He was a consenting adult.

Yeah, with the two
female hostesses,

not the male cheerleader.

Yeah, but he was
a consenting adult

until they
took the blindfold off.

Come on, finn,
it was rape by deception.

That's not something that
we can charge in New York.

Well, how about rape three?

You want us to arrest Ty,
the gay cheerleader?

Yes, that's a start.

Because maybe he's gonna
turn on the guys

that put him up to it.

And there's football players
there that were...

Cedric didn't file charges.

Come on, man, I know you're
close to the family,

but you've done all you can do.

Finn's right.

Barba told me just last week
to pick my battles,

and this one is,
just not a good one.

Wait, h-hold up.

Look, we know Zoe and Tanya,
the hostesses,

were in on this prank.

It can't hurt to talk to them.

Cedric is a victim.

He was sexually assaulted.

Aren't those the battles
we're supposed

to be fighting?

You two a team now?

Go, last chance.

But I don't want to
hear about it again

until you have something.

Copy that, sergeant.

What was that?

You know those two.

The more I say, "no,"
the more they

dig their heels in.

Want me to make sure they don't

go off the reservation?


Since when did we become
the voices of reason?

Sooner or later,
you play all the parts.

On the charge of assault

against Cedric Jones,
how do you plead?

Not guilty, your honor.

Given my client's state of mind
at the time,

I request this charge
be dropped.

Your honor,
our office has already

been beyond lenient
with the defendant

in agreeing to drop the hate

crime aspect of the charge.

The charge stands.
People on bail?

Given the fact the defendant

lives out of state,
we ask for 25,000.

We request r.O.R., your honor.

He's a first-time offender
with no record.

But no ties to the community.

I'm not going to let him
walk out of here.

Bail is set at 20,000.

We don't have
that kind of money.

Does your family own a home?

They can put that up.

No, everyone's counting on me.

The day I get drafted,
I buy my mom a house.

You've got to get me
out of here.

I'll move for a trial date
as soon as possible.

I can't believe
this is happening.

I'm so sorry.

Ty's in trouble?

He was just pranking Cedric.

Hm, help him out.

Tell me who put Ty
up to the prank.

I can't do that.

Honey, it's not just Ty.

You and your friend Zoe
were in on it.

We can arrest you right now.

What? How?

What y'all did,
it's third-degree rape, Tanya.

Oh, my God, we're in college.

- It was just a joke.
- Was it?

Or was it the team getting back
at Cedric?

Okay, okay, they were upset.

Because you told them?

They asked me
how it was looking,

if he was going to sign with us?


You better start cooperating,
'cause right now,

this hasn't gone public,

but when it does...

whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down.

Cedric's blaming us?

We know he was assaulted
here before he went downtown.


Did you see the size
of that guy?

No way.

At the worst, he got pranked.

It was just a prank.

A prank? Look, just so you know,

we're investigating this
as a rape.

You guys deceived him.

No way. Cedric deceived us
and our girls.

He had already committed
to another school.

Those girls consented.

And Cedric didn't consent to Ty.

He's saying he didn't want it?

That's a lie.

Little Ty rocked his world.

- And you were there?
- Yeah.

It wasn't exactly private.

It was in this gym.

In front of everybody?

That's right.

A guy giving oral
to another guy.

Look, so Cedric's gay.

We don't judge.

And you stayed and watched.

- So you're gay, too?
- What?

No. We were just
putting on a show.

Anybody take video
on their cell phone?

No way, that would be sick.

Yeah, that would be.

Listen, Jerome, Cedric's
got a lot on the line.

If he has to pull you under

so he doesn't drown, he will.

Look, I barely even
talked to Cedric.

Eddie, that was his chaperone.

Why aren't you talking to him?

Yo, you ducking me, Eddie?

I gotta study.

Wait, study?

You're a football player.

Wait, is that why
coach picks on you,

he thinks you're soft?

I'll kick anybody's ass
on the team and they know it.

Nobody calls me soft.

All right now what happened
to Cedric,

that's on him.

But I'm not some dumb-ass jock,

so if you got a problem,
read me my rights.

Otherwise, I don't
have to talk to you.

Bucky puts himself in the room,

but says it was consensual.

Well, Jerome swore
no one took video.

Yeah, right.

Let's see if the d.A.'S office
can get us a warrant.

We'll have to move fast.

They've closed ranks.

You think cops have a blue line,

football is all about

sacrificing yourself
for the team.

Like messing
with that kid's head.

What's that get you,
bonus points?

Come on, you played football.

This kind of stuff
normal to you?

Look, I did things
I'm not proud of,

but you play together,
you study together,

you eat together, you feel like

you're part of something
bigger than yourself.

If you ask me,
the only thing different

between a football team
and a gang,

is the gangs don't wear
helmets and kneepads.

So what do we tell rollins?

She's wasting her time.

Cedric should take the plea,
do his bid.

As long as he can
sack a quarterback,

he'll get a job.

- Hey.
- Hey.

Waited for you at the meeting.

- Yeah.
- Where were you?

You know what? I'm all caught up

in this case right now. Uhhuh.

It's a kid from my hometown.

Everybody down there
is counting on me

to take care of him.

Well, that's on them.

You got to worry about yourself.

If you're not working
on your recovery,

you're working on...
on your relapse.

I know.

I'm gonna get your money.

No. I'm not worried
about the money.

Okay, can we forget about it?

Come on, let's just
get out of here.

Ohh. Hey, hey, hey, hey.

- No, no.
- Hm?

No, you don't have
to do that either.

Right now, you need me
as a friend.

Oh, right.

- I gotta take this.
- Mm-hmm.


My God.

Uh, okay.

Yeah, I'll meet you there.

He tried to hang himself.

They found him on the ground
in his cell.

He's alive,
but he's hurt, Amanda.

Lying in that hospital bed,

his neck in a brace.

I was just with him
this morning.

He was in good spirits.

We... we prayed together.

Did the cos tell you anything?

Just that he had
some visitor today.

A girl.

He's our golden boy,
18 years old.

He ain't never hit a speed bump.

He spends a weekend here,

and his life is ruined.


It's Amanda rollins
from loganville.

The guard said that
you had a visitor today,

right before this happened.

We know it was Tanya.

Did she threaten you?


I can't tell you.

We can go after Hudson, okay?

They interfered
with the investigation.

They threatened a witness.

I'm not talking about this.

They have a video of me and...

we can make sure
that doesn't get out.

The doctor says
I can't play football.

I wish I had died.

I shouldn't have pushed him.

I mean, you said
it yourself, finn,

"just let him do his bid."

Amanda, this is not on you.

Oh, no?

I feel like I've been
on a real tear.

Every time I try
and help somebody out,

I just end up
making it a lot worse.

Well, finn's right.
It's not your fault.

That team did a number
on him when he got here,

and they kept hitting him.

And they had Tanya visit him
at rikers?

To make sure that he knew

they had a video of him and Ty.

Well, that's our way in.

It's witness tampering,

Get her in here.

I swear, I never meant
for that to happen.

Right. You were only
paying him a friendly visit.

He's a country boy.

He didn't know those guys,
what they had on him.

So it was your idea
to go tell him?

Coach said he was
worried about Cedric,

that he knew I liked him
and he thought

he might listen to me
more than anybody else.

It's really a tragedy
what happened to Cedric.

It didn't have to happen.

That boy was entrusted to you,

to your school, to your players.

He was sexually assaulted
in your weight room.

Now, hold on.

Hold on, ma'am.

You have no proof of that.

Cedric Jones came here
under false pretenses,

and took advantage
of our hospitality.

He wasted his time and ours.

I understand he had a fake I.D.,

that he was drinking.

He got himself into trouble,

and then tried to
blame my players.

Some of your players
did a number on him.

No, I asked every one of them.

I gave them a half
an hour to tell me

if they knew anything,
and every one of them

swore that they didn't.

This kid came here to party,

or maybe to experiment in a way

he couldn't down South.

He showed a lack of judgment
and a lack of character.

He's 18 years old,
and your players

sexually assaulted him.

And then you sent in
one of your hostesses

to blackmail him
with that video.

I think I've given you

enough of my time, detectives.

We'll be going after
your players for rape.

You do what you have to do.

It will be a teachable moment
for them.

I'm sure they'll come out
all the better for it.

It's like I tell them,

whatever doesn't kill you
makes you stronger.

I told you, what happened
between Cedric

and some little twink

doesn't have anything
to do with me.

If you cooperate with us,
we'll make sure

that you get a fair shake
with the d.A.

He already gave you his answer.

Jerome, your lawyer
is on his way.

It's your last chance
to tell us your side.

My side?

Some homo likes
getting his pipe cleaned.

He looks up,
sees everyone watching,

and pretends he didn't know
who was going down?

Your friends
are lawyered up, Eddie.

One of them is going
to cut a deal.

No, they won't.

No, why? Because you're a team?

No, because we barely
did anything to that kid.

So he goes his whole life

without an overdue library book

then he comes here,
ends up in jail,

and later tries to kill himself.

Was he really trying?

I mean, come on, he did
a piss poor job of it.

Is this funny to you?

You know, you and Cedric
aren't that different.

One goal in life,
make it to the NFL.

His neck's broken.

All right, that dream's over.

He'll never play football again.

And he's blaming us for that?

He should be thanking us.

How do you figure?

You said it yourself,

he only lasted here a few days.

He's soft, all right?

He would've never
made a college team,

let alone the pros.

- He's soft?
- Yeah.

Not like you, right, Eddie?

No, not like me.

There's nothing about me
that's soft.


You know, he made a real point
of telling me that.

Eddie's very concerned
with who's soft,

who's hard.

I don't know what the hell
you're talking about.

When we first met,

you were laying on the field.

You were being hazed.

It wasn't the first time,
was it Eddie?

It's nothing I can't handle.

Unlike Cedric.

So is that what this is about,

you treated Cedric the way
they treated you?

There's just no room in football

for a guy like that.

And what he went through,
it was nothing.

'Cause you went through worse?

Yeah, well, if I did,
I wouldn't be sitting here

whining about it, would I?

You mean you'd take it
like a man?

Yeah, I'd take it like a man.

Like coach says,
"what doesn't kill you."

So you got it even worse
than Cedric, didn't you?

And you never told anybody.

You know, Eddie, I've been
doing this for a while.

And I can see that you are...

you got a lot of weight on you.

And I can also see

that you want to let it go.

No, I can take it.

I can carry it.

Carry what?

What did they do to you?

They do the same thing
that they did to Cedric?

That was nothing. Nothing!

Like, compared to
what they did to you?

Because you're
tougher than Cedric.

You're tougher
than all those guys.

Yeah, I am.
I'm tougher than Cedric.

I'm tougher than all of them.

Well, that must be tiring, huh?

Carrying around all that armor,

all that self-loathing.

Whatever they have on you,

you put that on Cedric,
didn't you?

You think I'm gay?

Is that what you're saying?

No. Why would we say that?

Wait, is that what they think?

Screw you.

Screw you.

Screw me?

Yeah, I took it like a man.

Took what, Eddie? You...

they raped you, didn't they?

Is that what happened?

Coach said I needed
to toughen up.

I did.

And ever since then...

I don't feel anything anymore.

So it turns out that
Cedric had it easy.

Eddie thorpe got it much worse
his freshman year.

Yeah, he missed a few
down-field blocks,

the coach was riding him,

they caught him crying
in the locker room.

He ordered two
of the older players

to toughen him up.

They sexually assaulted him
with a broom handle.

And he stayed on the team?

Yeah, he wants to go pro.

He could've transferred out.

College football
is a small world.

He must have been afraid
of what they'd say about him.

Leaving a school
because of hazing

makes you look weak.

They took video of Cedric,
which means

they probably took video
of Eddie as well.

Is he willing to testify
about all this?

Well, he's not there yet.

But they don't know that.

Do you have the names of
the guys who did this to him?

Yeah, and according to Eddie,

the coach ordered it.

And you believe that?

A team like that,
nothing happens

unless the coach wants it to.

Pick them all up.

See if they turn on each other.

This isn't rape three.

This is rape one.

Yeah, that's some nice footwork.

What the hell is this?

We're working in here.

Not anymore.
You're under arrest.

Arrest for what?


Of that boy?

He's as queer as a $9 bill.

Whatever he got, he wanted it.

No, we're not talking about him.

We're talking
about Eddie thorpe.

You can't just come in here

and start making accusations.

We're not making any, Eddie is.

Stand up.


What, you think
he's got the balls

to testify in court
with me staring at him?

No, not when he first got here.

But you've spent a few years
toughening him up.

Let's go, coach.

Take it like man.

You and Cedric headed home?


Cedric met with the man
he beat up

at the gay bar and apologized.

The d.A. Explained
what had happened to my nephew,

so he said he wouldn't
press charges.

He said that Cedric
had been punished enough.

I am so sorry about all of it.

I mean, I keep going over
in my head

what I could've done

The d.A. Also told me
that some of those boys

at the school are going away

for what they did to Cedric.

And not just to Cedric,

a lot of other players too.

We're still looking, but so far,

we found four guys on the team

that were assaulted, even raped.


It all started with
coach Becker, didn't it?

I hope they throw him
out of football for good.

He's going to get in
a lot more trouble than that.

We'll see to it.

Hey, what are you doing?

Oh, I'm leaving.

I'll see you tomorrow
at the meeting?


I finally hit a lucky streak.

You know what this means?

We're even.

Hey, Eddie.

The coach took a plea.

You're spared a trial.


I know you risked a lot,

telling us what happened to you.

With an NFL draft
in your future,

it's not something
you want getting out there.

Now, it's not going to.

I appreciate that, I do.

But, uh, I'm done with football.

If they ever found out
the truth about me...

no one's going
to find out, Eddie.

No one.

It's just not about
me being assaulted.

Man, uh...

I am gay.

You think college was bad,
imagine a pro locker room?

I just can't spend another
ten years in the closet.

I just can't do it.


I mean, after all
you've been through,

that's a big sacrifice.

No, I'm taking
the coward's way out.

The big sacrifice would've
been to go pro and come out.

I'm just not ready for that.

Neither is the NFL.