Smile Politely

Former Illini Try to Start Over

Jamar Smith was spared jail time, for now. If he can stay straight for 18 months, he’ll be finished with Champaign County Corrections. An ankle bracelet will monitor his skin for alcohol content. He has a job lined up in Evansville, with Schnucks. He plans to continue his basketball career, and education, at Southern Indiana.

Corey Shackleford was released from jail after a night in prison. He lost it during a sentencing hearing. Kenneth Kelly got 50 years for killing Corey’s father-in-law.

I’ve never had a meaningful conversational exchange with Jamar. From what I’ve seen, he has a problem that a lot of good people have: When he starts drinking, he can’t stop. I hope that bracelet helps him to avoid even touching The Bottle.

I knew Corey, back in the day. By “the day” I mean, for me, law school. Corey is one of the true gentlemen I’ve known. I had no idea he and Kim had a tragedy in their lives. In truth, he’s like a lot of good people too: I hadn’t thought about him in years.

Corey, Jamar: Better times ahead.

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