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Posted at 9:17 AM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Suspensions of three UVA football players related to fight at JMU

By Steve Yanda

Updated at 7:10 p.m. with university response to Wallace's previous arrest.

Updated at 1:51 p.m. with police statement.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. with charges.

The indefinite suspensions of three Virginia football players Tuesday for conduct detrimental to the team were the consequences of a fight that took place at an off-campus apartment complex near James Madison University in Harrisonburg.

Jim Daves, a team spokesman, confirmed in a telephone interview Wednesday morning that the "conduct detrimental to the team" was related to a recent fight at JMU.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Ausar Walcott, sophomore cornerback Devin Wallace and sophomore center Mike Price each face three misdemeanor charges of assault and battery by mob and one felony charge of burglary-entering a dwelling with the intent to commit an assault. The charges stem from an incident that occured Jan. 30. The three players were arrested Tuesday.

The incident involving the three players took place at 1:34 a.m., according to a statement released Wednesday afternoon by the Harrisonburg Police Department. A verbal altercation outside an off-campus apartment complex in the 800 block of Port Republic Road preceded the players entering an apartment and allegedly assaulting three male victims. The three victims claimed they did not know the Virginia football players, the statement said.

Two of the three victims were taken to Rockingham Memorial Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The statement said those two victims have since been released from the hospital.

Walcott, Wallace and Price "cooperatively" turned themselves in after warrants were obtained Tuesday, according to the police statement. Walcott is 21 years old; Wallace and Price are 20.

"The Harrisonburg Police Department has worked closely with the University of Virginia Administration and Athletic Department and received nothing but full cooperation and assistance," the statement said.

After the players were arrested on Tuesday, Virginia coach Mike London suspended them indefinitely. Walcott and Wallace started for the Cavaliers last season, while Price was a reserve. The players "will not participate in any team activities while suspended," London said Tuesday in a school-issued statement.

Through a team spokesman, London declined an interview request Wednesday to discuss the suspensions.

Hearings for Walcott, Wallace and Price are scheduled for Feb. 28.

For Wallace (Friendly), this past weekend's incident was the second time in five months he'd found trouble at JMU. Wallace was arrested at an off-campus apartment complex near JMU at 9:47 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17 and charged with purchase/possession of alcohol, a class 1 midemeanor.

A university spokeswoman said Wednesday night that Wallace did not disclose his September arrest to London or the school, which is a violation of Virginia's honor code. Wallace's case will be referred for investigation to either the university's Honor Committee or the University Judiciary Committee. He faces the possibility of dismissal from the school.

He was found guilty in absentia for the alcohol charge. The penalties included the suspension of his driver's license for six months and a $500 fine, which Wallace has yet to pay and is past due, according to the Rockingham County General District Court.

Wallace's arrest this past fall occured during the Virginia football team's bye week. He started the Cavaliers' next game, a 48-7 win over Virginia Military Institute on Sept. 25, and recorded one tackle.

The penalty for Wallace's alcohol charge was finalized in a hearing Oct. 25. Wallace did not start the Cavaliers' following game, a 24-19 win over Miami on Oct. 30. Senior Mike Parker started in Wallace's place. London later said he had elected to start Parker because of Miami's tall corps of wide receivers and because Parker had practiced well the previous week. Parker was listed as 6-foot-2; Wallace is listed as 5-foot-11.

After starting six of Virginia's first seven games in 2010, Wallace started once -- in a 55-48 loss Nov. 6 at Duke -- in five games after Oct. 25.

By Steve Yanda  | February 9, 2011; 9:17 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Statement from Harrisonburg police on incident involving Virginia football players


Got a feeling these discipline issues will not be an ongoing issue under Mike London.

Posted by: freakzilla | February 9, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

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