Reports: 4 Arizona players arrested
Four University of Arizona football players were arrested last week after a fight at the off-campus home of fellow students, with one accused of punching women during the brawl.
According to the school's student newspaper the Daily Wildcat, which cited police reports, the four players, all sophomores, arrested early Friday were cornerback Jourdon Grandon, offensive tackle Fabbians Ebbele, offensive lineman Eric Bender-Ramsay and safety Jared Tevis.
Grandon, Ebbele and Bender-Ramsay were initially charged with criminal trespassing in the first degree and assault, while Tevis faces a trespassing charge, according to the Arizona Daily Star. However, prosecutors later dropped the assault charge against Bender-Ramsay, the Arizona Daily Star reported, adding that he would still face a trespassing charge.
The students at the house reportedly told police they invited Tevis to the party, but he showed up with Grandon, Bender-Ramsey and former Arizona safety Josh Robbins, who the Daily Star reported was booked on assault charges and suspicion of DUI. When they were asked to leave, one allegedly shoved a woman, triggering the fight. According to the Daily Star, police records indicated that the men then returned, this time with Ebbele and others, after which time a second fight spilled out into the house’s driveway.
The players, who reports claim fled in a Lincoln Navigator, were pulled over by police after officers saw the vehicle leaving the scene with people chasing after it. The Daily Star reported that the vehicle contained six people — Arizona junior defensive tackle Justin Washington being the sixth — and that police and a police dog named Ditka helped clear the car so the men could be questioned.
The players denied any involvement in the fight, arguing they left when an altercation started.
According to the Daily Star, Ebbele, Grandon and Robbins are scheduled to appear in Tucson City Court on March 15. Court dates for Bender-Ramsay and Tevis have yet to be set, the paper reported, while Washington, who the Daily Star identified as Bender-Ramsay's roommate, has not been charged.
Robbins was reportedly taken into custody on suspicion of DUI and was later cited and released. It is unclear whether Robbins was charged over the fight.
The report of the arrests comes after the Wildcats kicked off spring practice Monday under new coach Rich Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said Wednesday that the players' fates had not yet been decided, the Daily Star reported.
"What we're allowed to say, what we can say and what we can truthfully say . . . we'll be up-front and honest, of course, and let you know where it's at," he said. "When it's all done, when the process is done, I'll make further comments at that time."
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement that the school was taking the matter seriously.
"We are cooperating fully with the Tucson Police Department, and disciplinary action will be handled accordingly. Due to federal student-privacy laws we will have no further comment," Byrne said.
Ebbele and Grandon were expected to be starters for the Wildcats next season. Robbins' college career ended due to a back injury that sidelined him last season.