At Oregon, football players steal laptops from frat houses. At tiny (but expensive) Drew University, a lacrosse player is accused of stealing and re-selling priceless historical artifacts.
Drew is a private liberal arts school in Madison, NJ., affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It's the most expensive school in the state, and has a world-class archive of letters from such luminaries as Abe Lincoln, FDR, and the founders of the church. Well, they have less of an archive now, thanks to freshman defenseman William John Scott.
Scott, perhaps surprisingly for a lacrosse player with three first names, got an on-campus job in October. Fortuitously for black market antiques dealers, it was at the university's archives, and almost immediately things went missing.
This month a dealer in England contacted the school about some letters he had purchased, purporting to be written by Methodist Church founder John Wesley. The school investigated and found that 21 of 23 of its Wesley Letters were missing.
After combing through Mr. Scott's dorm room, federal agents discovered a file containing six Wesley letters besides the ones that were sent to England. The file also contained roughly 11 other important and historical documents from the university archives, including letters from five United States presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, William McKinley, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The file also had letters belonging to the university from Richard Nixon when he was vice president, Robert F. Kennedy and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek.
The best part of all this was the bust. The lacrosse team bus was intercepted returning from Spring Break, and Scott was arrested by campus security. Luckily for him, I'm sure someone on the team's dad is a lawyer.