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Chiba Lotte Marines draft prospect arrested for drinking

by on Dec.08, 2009 @ 9:39 pm, under NPB

The media is reporting that police in Okinawa arrested four high school students on charges of drinking.  One of the students apparently was someone that the Chiba Lotte Marines drafted.  While a name was not given, news reports mention that student was 18-years-old and there's only one player the Marines drafted that's 18.

According to police and school officials, the four students got together on the 4th and drank for about an hour between 11:30pm and 12:30am.  The school claims that the student is currently in Tokyo for a press conference but will be suspended from school for 2 weeks, beginning on the 11th.

The Marines agreed to basic terms with the student in November and were planning on signing him to an official contract on the 9th, but it now appears as though the club won't allow him to attend the press conference on the 9th.

Said club VP Akira Ishikawa, "We have him beginning in January.  Until then, he is the school's responsibility so I'm sure the school will punish him accordingly.  If he doesn't seem to show any remorse for what he's done, we may also decide to pass on him.  We need to be tough on this."

In regards to all of this, the student has said, "I acted rashly and it has affected both the fans and the ball club and I feel awful.  I am deeply sorry for my actions."

=== UPDATE 12/9/2009 2:53pm JST

The name of the player has now been released (Shota Ohmine), although it wouldn't take much to figure out who the player was based on early reports.

A little more to the story (via Sponichi):

The four students were drinking at an Izakaya (Japanese pub) between 11:30pm on Friday (12/4) into 12:30am on Sunday (12/5).  A customer at the pub reported the incident to the school.  School officials then contacted scouts on Monday (12/7).

The Marines will reserve judgment until the school finishes disciplining Ohmine.  Once the school is done, the Marines will likely take their time in deciding what will be best for Ohmine and the club.

=== UPDATE 12/10/2009 11:22am JST

There are reports that part of Ohimine's punishment (handed down by the school) may include writing essays on drinking, cleaning up the school grounds, and cleaning up the beaches.

It should also be noted that Yu Darvish has stepped up and said something I don't think anyone else has said up to this point (at least not any one with media clout):

It's easy to crush someone.  [I think] it's also important to provide support. ... Similar to me, there are things he doesn't know yet about the adult world.

While Darvish wasn't caught drinking, he was once caught smoking at a pachinko parlor when he was 18.

=== UPDATE 12/11/2009 4:00am JST

Shota's older brother, Yuta Ohmine, posted an apology for his brother's actions on his own blog.