Cut Off From The Herd: Randy Moss's journey as Marshall's biggest star

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Randy Moss, then the most gifted player in college football, led the revival of a Marshall program still haunted by a devastating 1970 plane crash. But Moss cared little about the Thundering Herd's past -- and wasn't around for its future. This story originally ran in the August 25, 1997 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Everybody's watching him. Randy Moss can feel the eyes of the lunchtime crowd at the Bob Evans restaurant, the double takes and furtive glances from the men in short sleeves and wide ties. He's got his act down: gray hood over his head, butt slumped in the booth, eyes as lifeless as buttons. Moss is a wide receiver at Marshall University, in Huntington, W.Va., and he figures to be rich before long. He jabs at his toast with a plastic straw.

"If I didn't have this hood on, and they saw us sitting here, people would say an agent picked up Randy Moss and took him to Bob Evans," he says. "That's why I got this hood on. Some people are looking, and some are not. Some know I'm here and you're here, they see a bill and they'll say, 'The agent paid for his food.' Anything can happen."

He shrugs. Moss says he doesn't care about the world's judgments anymore, and it's easy to believe he means it. Certainly no player in college football bears more stains on his name. Two and a half years ago, as a high school senior, Moss stomped a kid in a fight, pleaded guilty to two counts of battery and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a year's probation. That cost him a scholarship to Notre Dame. He enrolled at Florida State. The following spring he broke probation by smoking marijuana, was kicked out of Florida State and served two more months in prison. Then last fall, as Moss was on his way to shattering various NCAA and Marshall records with 28 touchdowns and 1,709 receiving yards as a freshman, he was charged with domestic battery against the mother of his baby daughter.

Yet Moss is not much interested in image-mending. His first words this morning were that he slept through his communications class. His hair is braided in long rows against his skull, a style he knows will give the wrong impression. "People perceive: Only black thug guys have braids," he says, his voice carrying to a dozen tables. "If I want to grow hair, I'll grow it. If I want to wear lipstick and makeup, I'll do that. God didn't put makeup on this world just for women. They perceive me as a thug? I'm not. I'm a gentleman. I know what I am, my mom knows what I am, most people know what I am. Don't judge me until you know me."

Notre Dame did just that, and Moss will never forgive the school for it. "They didn't take me, because they see me as a thug," he says. "Then Florida State...I don't know. You win some, you lose some. That's a loss." Moss pauses, laughs a humorless laugh. "But in the long run I'm going to have the victory. In the long run...victorious."

Moss is sure of this because he has sports' trump card: talent. Better, Moss has the kind of breathtaking athletic gifts seen once in a generation. At 6'5", with a 39-inch vertical leap and 4.25 speed in the 40, he established himself as West Virginia's greatest high school athlete since Jerry West. Irish coach Lou Holtz declared him one of the best high school football players he'd ever seen. Moss was twice named West Virginia's Player of the Year--in basketball. "He does things you've never seen anyone else do," says Jim Fout, Moss's basketball coach at DuPont High in the town of Belle. Moss also ran track for a while. As a sophomore he was the state champ in the 100 and 200 meters.

Nearly every college wanted him, troubled or not. During Moss's trial for the stomping incident, Kanawha County prosecutor Bill Forbes received a half-dozen calls from football coaches around the country assuring him they could make Moss a better citizen if he was released to their care. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden ultimately got Moss and quickly understood his colleagues' hunger. Early in the fall of 1995, during an impromptu late-night footrace among the Seminoles' fastest players, Moss came in second. When he went through practice the following spring as a redshirt freshman, the defense couldn't stop him from scoring. "He was as good as Deion Sanders," Bowden says. "Deion's my measuring stick for athletic ability, and this kid was just a bigger Deion."

Marshall took Moss in last summer after his chances elsewhere had dwindled to nothing, and he was instantly recognized as the best player on the practice field. He then strolled through Marshall's Southern Conference schedule like a grown man dropped into Pop Warner games. His teammates called him the Freak. In the Division I-AA title game, a 49-29 rout of Montana, Moss caught four touchdown passes to tie the single-season college record of 28 set by Jerry Rice in 1984 as a senior. Then, in February, Moss entered the Southern Conference indoor track championships after only three days of practice and won the 55 meters in 6.32 seconds and the 200 meters in 21.15--just .02 off the conference record.


Before coming to Marshall last year, football coach Bobby Pruett spent two years as defensive coordinator at Florida watching dominant Gators wideouts such as Ike Hilliard and Reidel Anthony, who went seventh and 16th, respectively, in the first round of the 1997 NFL draft. Neither, Pruett says, has Moss's weaponry. "He's the best athlete I've ever been around," Pruett says. Last year against Western Carolina, Marshall running back Llow Turner took a handoff on a sweep with Moss five yards behind him. "Next thing I know," Pruett says, "Randy's five yards in front, and in a matter of 15 yards he threw two blocks and sprung Llow for a touchdown. Llow runs a 4.5, and Randy caught him.

"Here's a guy who's 6'5". That's hard to find. Can jump out of the gym. Hard to find. Great body control. Hard to find. He's got great hands, and he can run faster than anybody else on the field!" By now Pruett has his hands up around his face, mouth wide open, looking like one of those horror-struck victims in a Dracula flick.

Already, Moss is being touted as a top-five pick in next year's draft, and few believe he won't go pro after this season. "If I have half as good a season as I had last year, then why not leave?" Moss says. "I have nothing else to prove." If he does go pro, says Atlanta Falcons scout Boyd Dowler, "there's no doubt where he'd be placed: very, very high. Joey Galloway, J.J. Stokes, Keyshawn Johnson--I don't recall anybody who's had his combination of exceptional athletic ability in all these areas. Keyshawn is bigger than Randy, but he's not as talented, not as fast and not as quick."

That kind of praise doesn't impress Moss anymore. "The way I look at it," he says, "God's got a magic wand, and he taps just a few on the head." That he can say this, straight-faced, isn't nearly as disconcerting as the fact that he says it here, in a place about as far from the universe of blue-chip cockiness as you can get. Huntington, wedged between Kentucky and Ohio along the Ohio River, has none of the bucolic self-importance of South Bend or Tallahassee; its aging downtown wages a daily battle between development and decay. The Marshall football program had, until recently, a tradition marked mostly by losing, disgrace and catastrophe. In 1970, one year after the school was kicked out of the Mid-American Conference as punishment for more than 100 NCAA violations, a chartered plane carrying 75 players, coaches, fans, university employees and crew crashed, killing all on board. It remains the worst disaster in U.S. sports history.

Much has changed since then. Coming off its second Division I-AA national championship, Marshall will this year complete a remarkable resurrection with a trio of milestones. The Thundering Herd, long overshadowed by upstate rival West Virginia, will enter the Mountaineers' class on Aug. 30 by joining Division I-A, rejoining the MAC and opening the season with its first game against West Virginia since 1923. Yet nothing legitimizes the Marshall program more than Moss, whose outspoken opinions make the Thundering Herd impossible to ignore. "I don't see any way they can win," Moss says of the Mountaineers, whose scholarship offers he twice turned down. "If West Virginia were like Florida State, the type of team that can get to the big game and win it, I would be there. But I don't like losing."

Indeed, everything about Moss--ambition, talent, trouble and talk -- leaves the impression that he is bigger than Marshall, that he is the kind of show-time player churned out yearly by Miami or Nebraska, capable of dazzling the nation on Saturday and causing his coach headaches during the week. "Be blunt: I'm the ... I don't want to say big star, but let's say main standout," Moss says. He is, in fact, the school's first Heisman Trophy candidate, but he says the award doesn't matter to him.

No, Marshall has never seen anyone like Moss, and the result is an odd lack of connection between player and school. Marshall has long been an insular, homey place, relying on its own people in the worst of times, and the university takes great pride in the fact that so many of its coaches, announcers and administrators are Marshall grads come home. Yet here is the school's greatest player ever colliding with the greatest moment in Marshall sports history, and he feels as if he's besieged. "I don't trust anybody," Moss says. "If I've got a girlfriend, I don't trust her. My mom, my daughter, I trust them, but anybody else? I don't even trust my roommate."

Coaches, teammates and fans approach Moss and tell him to be careful. He doesn't want to hear it. "If I needed someone to give me advice, then I'd have a second brain to tell me what to do," he says. "I already know: You're not going to get past the judicial system, so many strikes and you're out. I wish my first two hadn't occurred. Nobody told me to kick the guy while he was down, or go out and smoke some herb. I did that on my own. If I did that, I can make my own decisions."

So Moss is a star, alone and wrestling with his mistakes, and the shame of it is all in the timing. For although every college football fan will tell you that his school's program is special, that "it's about more than just football here," Marshall may well be the only place where this is true. No program in America has been beaten down so far and risen again, and this season promises to be the cathartic first step into a new era. Moss is 20 and has no idea what kind of horse he's riding.

"The plane crash was before my time," he says. "I don't try to go back in the past and say this football game is for the people in the plane crash. I've seen the burial ground. I went up there and looked at the names. It was a tragedy, but it really wasn't nothing big."


Up on the hill overlooking Huntington, a flame of stone burns in a downpour. The flame does not flicker, it gives no heat. It sits atop the monument with the 75 names like a lightless beacon, sending a beam no one sees. But everyone can feel it--everyone in town of a certain age, everyone connected to the university, and almost everyone who has anything to do with the modern stadium down the hill.

The stadium is empty today, silenced by July's lazy hand, but in one of its rooms a man sits by a window overlooking the football field. He stares out at the rain and sees faces: Frank Loria. Deke Brackett. Ted Shoebridge. Players, coaches. The doctor who introduced him to the woman who would be his wife. "It's every day," Red Dawson says. "Every day something comes up, and you have a flashback."

It has been 27 years. On Nov. 14, 1970, a plane carrying 37 members of the football team, five coaches, 21 boosters, seven university employees and a crew of five back from Marshall's 17-14 loss to East Carolina crashed on approach to Tri-State Airport near Huntington. The plane tore a 95-foot gash in the hillside, disintegrated, left a wake of fire. Dawson, a 27-year-old defensive coordinator at the time, had driven to East Carolina so he could make some recruiting stops en route. He heard the news of the crash on his car radio during the drive home. When he arrived in Huntington in the middle of the night, searchers were gathering the scattered bodies. For a time Dawson was put in charge of the football program. He saw the dead. He met with their families. "It was devastating," he says.

A year later Dawson left coaching forever. He still lives in Huntington, where he runs a construction firm. But he has been to only a few Thundering Herd games since the crash, and he was plagued by a low-level horror on each occasion. Now and then he goes to the stadium parking lot to tailgate. Once, thinking himself "insulated," as he puts it, by a few beers, he let someone talk him into walking into the stadium. He lasted only a few minutes. "Ask people who've survived any catastrophe: They have guilt feelings," Dawson says. "I did. That's what my problem was, and is."

Dawson isn't alone.The Tri-State crash wasn't the typical air disaster, unknown victims dying on unfamiliar ground. Thundering Herd football had been the emotional core of this corner of West Virginia for decades, drawing players from families who had been in the state for generations. The program's boosters were the town's elite. The crash, says retired Marshall professor of geography Sam Clagg, was the region's "great immense event," savaging the 60,000 residents in a way few outsiders understand.

When a new athletic director was appointed in 1971, he tried to get the school to move on. "He said, 'Forget all this...put it behind you.' Just like that," Dawson says, eyes widening, moistening. "The son of a bitch is dead. I wish he hadn't died. I'd still like to cuss him."

Ten days after the crash the official grieving period ended, but "you could say it never stopped," Clagg says. "A lot of people are still carrying that cross." So much so that the crash has even come to define the seasons in Huntington. Every year on Nov. 14 a ceremony is held on campus in front of a fountain built in memory of the dead. The surrounding plaza fills with students, teachers, survivors. The captains of the football team lay a wreath. A prayer is said. A bugler plays taps. Just as the last lonely notes cut through the midday air, the water pouring out of the fountain slows, then stops, leaving everyone standing in a well of silence. Winter begins. The water does not flow again until the first day of spring.


"I'd have people coming in and saying, 'I'm a orphan from the plane wreck,' and afterward I'd have to sit back for four or five minutes and catch my breath," athletic director Lance West says of his first days at Marshall, in 1995. "There's always a real sense of that plane. We're not trying to bring it up. It is this community."

In such a place someone like Randy Moss is almost mystifying. Dawson knew two people on the plane who, he believes, were on their way to greatness. Loria, the defensive coordinator, would have been a superb head coach, Dawson says, and a running back named Joe Hood would have made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dawson would like to talk to Moss. "It's hard for me to understand how somebody with his talent is on the verge of throwing it all away," Dawson says.

Still, Dawson is a football guy, and he loves the way Moss plays. Meanwhile, time has eased Dawson's discomfort enough for him to use the word we again when he talks about Marshall. He has even made plans to go to Morgantown for the West Virginia showdown. He can't believe how far the program has come.

As Dawson talks about the '60s, when Marshall lost so often that it was a national joke, a door bangs open at the opposite end of the room, and a coach enters with a cameraman and a sportscaster. Dawson stops. The men continue talking among themselves, and Dawson nods and says, "Yeah. That guy right there." It is confusing. What guy? Dawson's voice drops into his chest and he mumbles, "Keith Morehouse." Still it doesn't sink in. Outsiders can be so dense. Morehouse, the team's play-by-play announcer, host of the coach's TV show and sports anchor on the top station in town, has for years been the voice and face of Marshall football. Dawson repeats the name, softly.

"His dad was on the plane," he says.

The place is nearly empty, a cavern of weight machines and pulleys and heavy bars in which just two men cruise, station to station. "What you doing, dawg?" Moss asks his roommate, wide receiver Jerrald Long. Long gestures, and Moss yelps, "Jerks!" He grabs a bar and starts flinging it over his head. "Ahh! Ahh!" he groans loudly. His right biceps is tattooed with a scripted R; his left reads moss. He's not wearing a hood today, but who knows? Trouble can follow a Marshall player anywhere. Just this morning, July 22, the Huntington Herald-Dispatch has one story on a Thundering Herd fullback shot in the leg outside a nightclub downtown and another story on a former Marshall basketball player being sentenced to 10 years for drug trafficking. Moss isn't taking any chances.

"If I go out, people are going to say, 'Hey, he's drinking,'" Moss says as he thrusts the weights up and down. "It's just about being undercover, man, staying home. There's a lot of jealousy, man, and jealousy is downfall. If I go out, the jealousy would probably get worse. Jealousy, player haters -- you've got 'em all in Huntington."


Of course, jealousy explains nothing about Moss's litany of troubles with the law, and he knows it. Once, on his way to Notre Dame, the school he grew up worshiping, he dreamed of being "as big as Michael Jordan." But then he began to slide. On March 23, 1995, he backed a friend in a fight at DuPont High. According to the Kanawha County sheriff's report, Moss's friend, Rayeshawn Smith, had been enraged to see his name and the sentence ALL NIGGERS MUST DIE scrawled on a desk. Suspecting a white student named Ernest Roy Johnson, Smith enlisted Moss's help and accosted Johnson in a hallway. According to witnesses, Smith punched Johnson repeatedly until he dropped to the floor. Then Moss stepped in and kicked Johnson from one to four times. Johnson was hospitalized with a lacerated spleen, a concussion, blood around his kidneys and fluid around his liver.

Moss apologized for his actions at the school's football banquet two months later. Notre Dame, which had accepted his letter of intent, declined his enrollment application, saying he had failed to fill out the form properly. While Moss pleaded guilty to two counts of battery, a misdemeanor, county prosecutor Forbes says the initial charge was malicious wounding, a felony. "It was not lightweight at all," Forbes says. "It was severe and horrifying. The fact that the [victim] didn't want to go through with prosecuting because he did not want to be retaliated against for the rest of his high school life resulted in its being a misdemeanor." Still, Moss was allowed to serve three of his 30 days in jail and then defer the remaining 27 days until after his freshman year in college.

Moss doesn't shirk responsibility for the crime, but says the school's tense racial atmosphere helped push him to it. "I was out of my mind, man, just started kicking him," Moss says. "There's only so much you can take. All through my years, sophomore, junior, senior year, I was in fights. I won't go out and look for it, but I won't back down. It's all about respect, and I feel nobody at that school had any respect for the black experience." Indeed, Fout, the DuPont basketball coach, says the incident helped ease tension in black-white relations at the school by forcing it to the surface. "We've had some racial problems at our school, and if you have any, it's too much," Fout says. "We've done some good in that area."

For his next bout of trouble, Moss has no one to blame but himself. "I'm the dummy," he says. Holtz had recommended Moss to Bowden, and Moss was accepted at Florida State on the condition that he redshirt his freshman year. He practiced so well that few doubted Moss would start the next season. But in April 1996, on the day he was to begin finishing his prison sentence, Moss smoked a joint. He was given a drug test during his first week in jail, and it came up positive. He was tossed into solitary confinement for a week, and 60 days were added to his sentence. Bowden revoked his scholarship. "That hurt inside," Moss says, "but the only thing I couldn't do was cry, because I did it."

Six months later he slipped again. On Nov. 17, the day after he broke two Division I-AA receiving records in Marshall's game against Furman, Moss became embroiled in a violent argument with his former girlfriend Libby Offutt. The couple had only recently broken up. It was mid-afternoon, and Moss was returning their two-year-old daughter, Sydney, to Offutt at her parents' house in St. Albans, W.Va. Moss pulled up in his new girlfriend's car, and he and Offutt began to fight. By the time they were through, according to the police report, Offutt had abrasions around her neck and minor cuts and bruises on her arm. She said Moss had repeatedly shoved her and forced her to sit down. She also told police that Moss "threw steaming hot water" on her, according to the report. Moss's gold necklace was found to be broken. He and Offutt were each arrested on misdemeanor charges of domestic battery. Their trials have not yet been scheduled.

"She just ticked me off, and it got out of hand," Moss says. "The only thing I regret was I put my hands on her. I don't put my hands on a woman. But I had to apply some pressure to get her off of me. I still love her. I didn't want nothing like that to happen. But that's life, I guess." More to the point, that's Moss's life, which reads like a case study of a child at risk: too little attention paid early, and then too much. Growing up in Rand, 50 miles from Huntington, Moss had little contact with his father, Randy Pratt. "We're not going to talk about that," says his mother, Maxine Moss, who raised Randy, his sister, Latisia, and brother, Eric, while working as a nurse's aide. "I'm everything. A lot of people see Randy as an outstanding athlete, but when I see him, I see a young woman who's poured her life into him so he could have a life."


By all accounts Maxine imbued her son with a strong sense of right and wrong. But once Randy began dominating in sports, her control began to slip. "I couldn't shield him enough," she says. "You couldn't turn on the TV or open the newspaper without seeing him there. We're talking about a high school sophomore getting interviewed, and I never thought that was needed. But the more I didn't want it, the more it would come."

Fout, who has known Moss since coaching him in Little League, says Moss has always been influenced by the crowd around him, for good and bad. He doesn't discount Moss's wild streak, but also recalls Moss's volunteering to help a special education class for kids with "severe mental problems. And Randy would spend time with them, play computer games with them. I've seen the kids put their arms around him and hold him and tell him they loved him. He's made mistakes, and you can say he's not a very good guy. But there's also an awful lot of good there."

While no one excuses Moss's conduct, the mitigating circumstances of his two arrests for fighting have made them easier for some people in Huntington to forgive. Who, the thinking goes, can judge from afar the racial attitudes of adolescents or the contentious breakup of a couple? Even Frank Offutt, Libby's father, considers her dustup with Moss overblown. "He didn't smack her or hit her with his fist," Offutt says. "He pushed her. He's 20 years old. When I was 20 years old, I made mistakes."

Offutt believes people have too simplistic an impression of Moss. "To me he's kind of an enigma," Offutt says. "I've seen sides of him that are really great. When his high school won the state championship, everybody else was running around with each other, and he went and got a small child out of the stands. That really impressed me. I've seen him effervescent, open, big smile--he's like Michael Jordan. Then another side comes out that's less than friendly."

Offutt says that when his daughter first told him, during high school, that she was going to begin seeing black guys, he was opposed. "I did not believe blacks and whites should date," he says. "The first one to come was Randy." But he liked Moss. "I still like him," Offutt says. "But I have concerns about him, about how quickly he's learning. I think some of it is, 'I'm a superstar, I can do whatever I want.' I pray every day that he doesn't blow it."

Moss swears he has learned more than enough, and when he says he'll stay away from Sydney for the next few months to avoid trouble with Libby and then sighs and says, "I've experienced things that a 90-year-old man hasn't experienced," he seems aged, tired. He is that increasingly common and disturbing phenomenon: a young man lacking youth, a college football star stripped of ideals. He pays little lip service to education, totes no hokey ideals about winning one for his school. He is sure that big-time sports is a using game.

Yes, that was embarrassing, seeing himself on TV in the summer of '96, clad in a jailbird orange jumpsuit, needing a haircut and a shave, his wrists and ankles chained together for his arraignment on the marijuana charge. But Moss took it, marked it down as his price to pay for being a star. And he took his week of solitary confinement, 23 1/2 hours a day spent staring at stone, waking to the screams of other prisoners, standing numbly while guards ransacked his cell in search of drugs or weapons. Even the prison field trip by a school group didn't bother him, kids whispering his name as they passed by. He marked it down: his price.

"One more screwup, and I've got nothing else to look for in life," Moss says. "So if staying at home, watching TV and playing at my Playstation are going to keep me out of trouble, even if I'm bored, I can do it for a couple months. It's all about that money, man. That money is clanging. If you get the opportunity, you got to go get it."

The crash blasted the heart out of the Marshall football program. Everything--uniforms, players, coaches, the athletic director--was gone. There were calls for the program simply to shut down. At times it seemed that it had. For the next 13 years the team limped through autumn winning no more than four games a season. The only thing that resonated deeply was that plane, dropped like a stone in a pond, sending concentric ripples that flowed over families and friends year after year.

"It's weird," says Keith Morehouse, whose father, Gene, Marshall's play-by-play announcer, died in the crash. "When I had the opportunity to become the TV voice of the Herd, after Dad was the radio voice for years, it struck a chord in my family and me. Maybe there was a calling deep inside saying, 'Finish the job.'"


Beginning in the early '80s a succession of high-profile coaches -- Sonny Randle, Stan Parrish, George Chaump, Jim Donnan --jump-started the Marshall program, and the school's appearance in the Division I-AA title game in 1987 (the Thundering Herd lost to Northeast Louisiana 43-42) made the new 30,000-seat stadium a necessity. The facility opened in 1991. By then Morehouse had married Debbie Hagley, who lost her father and mother in the crash. At the new field Marshall has lost only four games. After the Herd won its first national championship in 1992, beating Youngstown State 31-28 in the title game, Morehouse walked into his house, and he and his wife hugged tightly. "You don't talk about it, you don't dwell on it," Morehouse says, "but those people who had connections to the crash -- they're the ones this is all about. They're the ones who have gotten the most out of the school's success."

Marshall's 15-0 rampage through Division I-AA last year served as a crowning touch and made this year's upgrade to I-A inarguable. "It's time for us to move," says Pruett, and the sweet fact that the Herd moves back into the MAC, which booted it 28 years ago, is lost on no one.

Strange. Moss should be the hood ornament on this comeback machine, the beloved local boy making national noise. And make no mistake: To kids in Huntington, Moss is huge. But among the establishment, those of the orphan generation, few bother applying a protective gloss to Moss. No one professes concern about his turning pro. "People are very wary, wondering if he'll stay on the straight and narrow," Morehouse says.

Moss can feel it. He has taken private polls, asked unsuspecting cab drivers what they thought of this Randy Moss, and as often as not they have trashed him. This too has happened often, Moss says: Someone has walked up to him and said, "I just don't like you."

Moss is not bigger than Marshall. On the contrary. The essence of the place overwhelms his talent, his trouble, his past and future; it makes even the Heisman Trophy seem minor. There was a disaster here, and on the hill overlooking the town, the stone flame burns. It is April, but the newspaper from last Dec. 22 is still there, stuffed under the plastic ring of green-and-white ivy at the base of the memorial. THE PERFECT ENDING, it reads. MARSHALL WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, FINISHES 15-0 IN FINAL I-AA SEASON. The pages are beginning to crumble under the assault of snow and time and everything that comes out of the sky.

Randy Moss has learned this much: The past does not stop. Year after year, it comes back to haunt, demand explanations, complicate things. It can shackle a man as much as it can a place, never allowing either to completely move on. Moss never figured that as part of his price.

His daughter is three years old. He once hoped that Sydney, being so young, would not be aware of his transgressions. But she is. She recognizes his name when she hears it on TV. She asks him to explain. "When she heard, 'Randy Moss is back in jail tonight,' she knew," Moss says. It is something for which he is truly sorry. There is nothing he can do about it.

"Whenever we go past the courthouse where I was, she says, 'That's where my daddy was in jail,'" Moss says. "She knows I was in shackles and cuffs--and her mom was crying--and she couldn't touch me or hug me. She knows."