December 08, 2004
Murphy fallout

Despite his lightning-quick acquittal, the consensus remains that Calvin Murphy is finished as a public figure.

"We remain committed to re-evaluating his situation at the end of the season regarding his future with the organization and that of the broadcast team," said Tad Brown, Rockets senior vice president of marketing and sales, in a statement issued by the club.

Yet doubt remains in the minds of many.

"I can't see how he can come back to be on TV, to be a public face of the team," said one league executive not with the Rockets.

"No way. Not at all," said another.


"The Rockets could not put him back in that role even if they wanted to," said [Elvin] Hayes. "That life is over for him. ... It's possible in all of us to say, `I forgive.' But you can't erase the human mind."

The statement from the jurors is favorable but not unequivocal for him.

Three jurors initially wanted to convict Murphy of some of the six counts based on testimony from a single daughter who they thought was more credible than the other four, juror Richard Shields said.

After discussing inconsistencies in her testimony, however, the jurors agreed there was reasonable doubt about the truth of her statements.

"We had to go on (District Judge Michael) McSpadden telling us not to convict if we had a reasonable doubt," said Shields, 48, one of the jurors who initially wanted to convict.

Ellen Burg Holloway, 47, also thought one daughter was more believable than others, but said some of that daughter's testimony was contradicted by her mother's statements.

I don't think that's a strong enough statement of Murphy's innocence to help him. I thought the fast verdict might have indicated that the jurors didn't just find doubt but actively disbelieved that Murphy was guilty, but that apparently isn't the case. Hotshot Casey has no sympathy for Murphy, that's for sure.

I've gone back and forth on the conventional wisdom here, so take my thoughts with the usual grain of salt. Calvin Murphy could come back, but right now it's not looking good for him. I've no doubt the Rockets will keep an ear to the ground (was there any reporting of the reception Murphy got at last night's Rockets game on the TV news?), and for what it's worth, there's a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by KPRC which says 68% of Houstonians agreed with the not-guilty verdict. I'd put odds on the Rockets quietly parting ways with Murphy after the season is over, but you just never know.

UPDATE: Here we go: Murphy gets warm reception at Rockets game.

"Glad to have you back," said one fan as Murphy signed an autograph.

"Get your job back next year, man," said another.

That seemed to be the general consensus as Calvin, dressed in a bright purple suit, waved and blew kisses to the crowd.

"Calvin's probably the best color commentator in the game," said Jason Gound, a Rockets fan. "My wife watches Rocket games mainly because of Calvin and just the personality he brings to the game."

"He's been here for years, I mean everybody loves him," said Sanyika Scott, another fan. "That was just, that was just the past, you know
what I'm saying. It's over now and we can put that behind us."

Just another data point to consider.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 08, 2004 to Crime and Punishment | TrackBack

Isn't it a simple PR decision? What would be the benefit of the Rockets bringing him back? From far up in Dallas, it seems there really is none.

Posted by: Blake on December 8, 2004 9:09 AM

I'll miss the Eddie Munster hairline and those suits he wore that could cause seizures in vulnerable populations.

Posted by: norbizness on December 8, 2004 9:12 AM

I don't think that's a strong enough statement of Murphy's innocence to help him.

Sigh. Welcome to Texas, where accusation is equivalent to guilt, whether you're convicted or acquitted. Maybe I should broaden that: welcome to America...

As to his future, I do not mean to lessen the seriousness of the charges Murphy faced when I observe that if he lived in California, he could go on to become governor.

Posted by: Steve Bates on December 8, 2004 9:17 AM

The problem with being accused of certain types of crimes is that no matter what, even if you're acquitted, you're damaged goods for a long, long time. This is one such criminal allegation.

It's why I think the penalties for lying about rape, molestation and crimes like that ought to be nearly as severe as the punishment for someone convicted of those crimes themselves.

Posted by: Tim on December 8, 2004 1:35 PM

I do believe he can make up what he had to spend on attorney's fees on the future cost of college educations and Christmas presents now.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on December 8, 2004 3:03 PM

Let me further give you my analysis of the situation


Posted by: Tek_XX on December 8, 2004 6:52 PM

Its not the same without Calvin, bring him back he adds personality to the game. You people know that he did not do this, so forget about the pc thing to say and just give the man his job back.

Posted by: jesse on January 2, 2005 8:38 PM