Did the Seahawks Look Hard Enough Into Frank Clark's Past? - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Did the Seahawks Look Hard Enough Into Frank Clark's Past?

The Seattle Seahawks chose DE Frank Clark with their second-round pick despite his checkered past. (Photo: NFL/Twitter) The Seattle Seahawks chose DE Frank Clark with their second-round pick despite his checkered past. (Photo: NFL/Twitter)
SWXRightNow.com -- With the Seattle Seahawk's first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft they chose former Michigan defensive end Frank Clark, a man who allegedly hit his then-girlfriend, Diamond Hurt, and left her passed out on a hotel room floor. 

He wasn't charged with the two counts of domestic violence he was booked on, instead Clark received a $250 fine and no more jail time then the two days he had already served when he accepted a plea deal for persistent disorderly conduct.

More on the Seahawks 2015 NFL Draft picks HERE: http://bit.ly/1GOYb0s

Seattle GM John Schneider said on a conference call following Clark's selection that the Seahawks had done a thorough investigation into the matter and explained why the team felt comfortable selecting him No. 63 overall last Friday afternoon.

“Our organization has an in-depth understanding of Frank Clark's situation and background,” Schneider told reporters on Friday. “We have done a ton of research on this young man. There hasn't been one player in this draft that we have spent more time researching and scrutinizing more than Frank. That's why we have provided Frank with this opportunity and are looking forward to him succeeding in our culture here in Seattle.”

On Monday, Schneider said on ESPN 710, "In my opinion, if you strike a woman, you're off our board. I'm sorry, there's just no two ways about it.”

Insinuating the Seahawks would not have drafted Clark if they believed he had actually hit Hurt. Then the Seattle Times did a little digging into the situation, and fans might not be happy with the result.

It all started with the Seattle Times obtaining a copy of the police report, a public file Seattle's investigators would have easily received, in fact here it is: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2072008-frank-clark-police-report.html

Then the Times spoke with two witnesses of the incident, women the Seahawks admitted to not speaking with after releasing a statement saying they only spoke with Clark about the situation, and their accounts are simply chilling. From the ST.

Lis Babson, 44, and Kristie Colie, 43, who were in the room next door with their young daughters at a Sandusky, Ohio, hotel and waterpark resort last November, say they heard loud banging, yelling and screaming coming from Clark's room. Babson says she immediately sensed something was terribly wrong, ran outside and pounded on the door until Clark opened it.

Babson said an enraged Clark tried to quickly slam the door in her face, but she caught it before it could close.

Colie, who had followed Babson into the hallway, said the woman on the floor inside the room “was definitely beat up” and initially didn't move.

“She looked unconscious,'' Colie said. “She looked like she was knocked out, and then she started to move slowly.''

Hurt's then-15-year old brother told police he was showering before he walked out and saw Clark punch his sister in the face and that the Michigan star had polished off "a fifth of Hennessey" earlier that night. An even younger brother of Hurt said that he saw, "Frank [Clark] hitting his sister."

Colie corroborated the incident saying she witnessed Clark running in the hotel hallway earlier in the evening, even peeked her head out and asked him to be quiet, before the incident with Hurt happened.

“He was definitely drunk, there was no doubt about it,'' Colie said to the Seattle Times about her confronting encounter with Clark after hearing the clamor next door.

So why wouldn't the Seahawks have interviewed the the two women? Or believed Hurt and her brothers who stated in an official police report that Clark indeed did punch or at least injure her?

Babson doesn't see how Seattle felt comfortable drafting Clark or could even conclude there had been no physical altercation.

“Her body was just not moving,'' Babson told the Seattle Times. “It looked like she was unconscious to me. She was just laying there. Her eyes weren't even open."

Clark maintains that he never hit his then-girlfriend. 

He has admitted to felony charges of second-degree home invasion for stealing a MacBook Air from dorm room down the hall from his, an incident which was expunged from his record after completing the necessary probation under Michigan law.

But Clark says he never hit Diamond Hurt. His lawyer, Kenneth Bailey, believes Clark, "I want to assure you that based upon many conversations with Frank Clark, I am comfortable re-affirming his prior statements that he did not strike his then-girlfriend.” 

A nice bow-tie on the situation that probably helps the Seahawks from a public relations standpoint.

The fact-of-the-matter is this: The Seahawks needed a pass rusher, badly. They got one of the most talented ones available in the draft with the 63rd pick. Schneider believes Clark, because he does or because he wants to no matter what is a different situation all together.

"Like I said, talking to the other teams, and making sure that everybody's had the same research from all the attorneys and the counselors and the D.A. and everybody involved," Schneider said to ESPN 710. "We knew there weren't going to be any pass-rushers left, and we needed to grab one as soon as we could."

What the fans believe remains to be seen. It might matter how well Frank Clark performs on the gridiron on Sunday's next fall.

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