CHICAGO — Kevin Ross, a former Creighton University basketball player who gained national attention by enrolling in an eighth-grade class to learn how to read, barricaded himself in a hotel room Thursday and threatened to kill himself during a two-hour standoff with police.
Ross, 28, who spent four years at Creighton on an athletic scholarship, was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment at Cook County Hospital after surrendering to the educator who runs the preparatory school where he learned to read four years ago.
Marva Collins, the head of Westside Prep, the school Ross attended after leaving Creighton, was called to the hotel by police after Ross demanded to speak to her. She said Ross was upset over his inability to start a career--a failing he blamed on his experience at Creighton.
Criminal charges could be filed against Ross, who damaged two police cars when he threw the contents of his hotel room, including an air-conditioner and a television set, from an eighth-floor balcony, police said.
"He didn't seem to be rational," said Commander James Maurer, one of 12 policemen who subdued the 6-foot 9-inch, 280-pound Ross. "He threatened to kill himself and other people."
Ross, who was said to have the reading ability of a second-grader when he entered Westside Prep, left Creighton in 1982. He criticized the university for concentrating on his basketball talent and ignoring his educational needs. He enrolled at Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1984 but has not attended the university since the fall of 1985.