The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU adjunct professor arrested in late September

Highland Park Police arrested an SMU professor earlier this fall.

According to a police report obtained by The Daily Campus, around 2 a.m. on Sept. 22, Erin O. Patton, 40, and an adjunct professor of public relations in sport, attempted to flee arrest from officers in his vehicle.

After crashing into three cars, Patton was stopped by police, who then found a crack pipe in Patton’s 2010 Mitsubishi Gallant. According to Kim Cobb in SMU’s Department of News and Communications, Patton was “suspended from his teaching duties Oct. 1.”

However, Patton’s students received a different message on Sept. 26. In an email to his students, Patton said that he was taking a “personal leave of absence” due to “family health reasons.”

He further explained that he would be traveling between Dallas and the East Coast, which would impact his “class schedule and preparation time.” Professor Michael Lysko took over his classes from that point on.

The Simmons School, which houses sports marketing and public relations, declined to comment.

Patton’s students, such as sports management major Nicole Jacobsen, were shocked at the news of his arrest.

“I was surprised because he’s always been very professional and seems like a person who’s very dedicated to his work and family and his students,” Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen, who is currently enrolled in the class that is now taught by Lysko, continued to say that Patton always seemed to make his students his first priority.

“He’s an awesome teacher; he really knows the material that he teaches because he has so much experience in the real world,”Jacobsen said. “He does a great job of involving students and really connecting with them and making class fun.”

The Daily Campus contacted Patton for an interview and was referred to his lawyer, Royse West.

“All I can say is that he has been charged with a crime. I am not saying he is guilty, but that is what we have to deal with right now,” West said. West would not comment on the progress of the case.

Patton is well-known in the world of sports marketing and public relations. According to his biography on the SMU website, he has worked with professional athletes such as Lebron James, the Williams sisters and Michael Jordan, and was chosen by Jordan to craft the JORDAN brand, which launched in 1997.

Patton is also the author of “Under the Influence: Tracing the Hip-Hop Generation’s Impact on Brands, Sports, & Pop Culture,” which was released in 2009.


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