Sunday, May 4, 2003

Pictures worth 1,000 words for Missouri English major



By TIM HIGGINS
The Des Moines Register

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Sean Devereaux isn't exactly basking in the limelight. The University of Missouri junior said last week that he was laying low after his party pictures published in Monday's Des Moines Register led to Larry Eustachy's suspension as Iowa State basketball coach.

Unlike the coach, the 21-year-old English major has turned camera-shy. His mother fears for his safety.

Devereaux, overwhelmed with requests for interviews, e-mail from angry Iowa State fans and the price of being at the epicenter of the scandal, turned reclusive during the storm.

"This is my hell week," he said while working on two papers. "When you are an English major, you don't take tests, you have papers."

Devereaux, who wears his brown hair pulled behind his ears and under a backward blue baseball cap, usually isn't the shutterbug, he says.

The disposable camera he used to capture Eustachy had set in his room since a summer vacation last year, only a few exposures taken. This is a guy who took two cameras on a trip to Jamaica and returned without any pictures.

"I don't normally take pictures," Devereaux said. "The most common question I get is: 'Why did I do it? Do you feel awful?' I didn't do anything. All I did was take pictures. He posed. I took."

Many newspapers and television stations have requested copies of the photographs, which Devereaux has provided.

Only two outlets, an Iowa TV station and the Kansas City Star, have offered to pay - a total of $150 - said Devereaux. "They offered and I said, 'Yeah.' "

The Register did not pay for the photos.

Devereaux said a friend's father, a University of Iowa fan, encouraged Devereaux to report what had happened. Devereaux, who said he was upset by the coach's behavior, consulted an attorney before releasing the photographs.

And the rest is history. Devereaux said he hopes the attention fades soon.

The local student newspaper, The Maneater, ran one of his pictures on the front page Tuesday next to a story about a possible 19 percent tuition increase.

A reporter from his high school newspaper in St. Louis was granted an interview, too.

He said he initially offered the photos to the Register "because I didn't think anybody else would be interested."

Instead, Devereaux said, "It's been constant calls." His voice mailbox, for example, won't accept any more messages because it's too full.

Devereaux won praise from members of The Antlers, a group of rowdy Missouri basketball fans known for heckling the opposing team.

Greg Miller, 20, a sophomore, said he hoped Eustachy kept his job so The Antlers can razz him next year. "We don't want him to forget what a good time he had down here."

"I wish it would have been us taking them," Miller said of the pictures. "Good for him."

Devereaux's friends said he is a nice guy, a sensitive gentleman who only turned over the pictures after the coach allegedly made rude comments to women at the party. One of those women was Devereaux's girlfriend.

He has said repeatedly that he made the pictures public - initially posting one on the Internet in January - because he was upset with the coach's behavior. To people who think he had other motivations, Devereaux says, "They weren't there. They didn't see it."

"I hope this is not my 15 minutes of fame," Devereaux said, "because I'd rather be remembered for anything else. I don't want to waste my 15 minutes on this."




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PLAN YOUR DAY
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