Howard admitted, according to TMZ, to hitting his son with the buckle of his belt, leaving bruises and abrasions on his legs. The Cobb County, Georgia, police department said today that they were reopening their previously closed investigation into the alleged acts after new information surfaced -- presumably the TMZ report -- that Howard's belt actually left marks on his son.
Howard has not been charged, he has not been arrested, but this is a distressing development. The "abuse vs. old-school parenting" debate is one that has polarized the sports world over the last month, especially considering Adrian Peterson's recent punishment by the NFL after doing worse things to his 4-year-old son.
The NFL suspended Peterson for the rest of the year this week after the Vikings suspended him earlier in the season. There has been no statement or acknowledgment of possible discipline by the NBA or the Rockets, and it's unclear if there is any precedent.
We'll keep a close eye on this story. It gives us no pleasure to report on it, but considering its implications for the Rockets and its place in a broader societal discussion, every development will be closely watched by local and national media.