Three University of Alabama football players are facing criminal charges after hard falls from grace this week; their futures are now sullied and their place on the winning Alabama football team have all but closed up.
Law enforcement says the ball players are being accused of knocking students unconscious and stealing their wallets. A fourth Bama ball player is being charged with using a stolen debit card. This news broke on Tuesday.
Linebacker Tyler Hayes, 18, and safety Eddie Williams, 20 are said to have confessed to robbing at least one student. They are said to have admitted to punching one student in the head, along with kicking him in the ribs and back early this week. Meanwhile, a third player, D.J. Pettway, 20, who is a defensive lineman, waited with Hayes in a vehicle nearby for close to an hour while Williams went in search of another student. He allegedly knocked that student out and then robbed both him and yet another student. Williams and Hayes both admitted to their involvement, according to the documents.
Also, Williams and running back Brent Calloway, who is 20, both admitted to using a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines inside a dormitory, the court documents read. Calloway wasn’t involved in the actual robbery.
Nick Saban, Alabama football coach, announced that all four students were indefinitely suspended from the championship winning team. Saban released a presser that read, in part,
The young men charged are indefinitely suspended as we continue to gather information and talk to the appropriate people,
Saban said in a statement released by the school.
The University and football program have strict guidelines regarding issues of this magnitude. This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program.
Before long, Alabama athletic director Mal Moore released his own presser. On Tuesday, he went to the media and said,
This is a very serious matter and we are very disappointed in the actions that have resulted in the charges against these student athletes. In this type of situation, the Athletics Department works in conjunction with the university. We will have more to say at the appropriate time.
The charges for Pettway and Hayes include second-degree robbery, while Williams was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card along with second-degree robbery. Calloway was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card.
The bond for the defendants include a $65,000 bone for Williams, who met the requirements and was released. Hayes and Pettway were released on $60,000 bond each. Calloway was released on $5,000 bond.
This is definitely not good for the Alabama football community. The fans are disappointed and it’s certainly not the way to put a period to the end of an exciting second straight national title win. It’s won three of the past our seasons. For Williams, it’s especially troublesome since he was considered the top prospect going into the national spotlight. Also, all four players were backups last season for Alabama.
The students, unfortunately, suffered injuries during the attacks. Both reportedly suffered from concussions, cuts and “heavy swelling”. One is said to have “serious injuries”. The first student reported having his Apple Macbook Pro stolen from his backpack and the victims all had their wallets stolen as well. After the attacks were reported, University police posted an advisory warning other students of the attacks and that the victims reported being approached by two men who asked for a light for a cigarette.
Further complicating matters was the pistol Williams was carrying when he was arrested earlier in the weekend. He didn’t have a permit. A spokesperson for Tuscaloosa Police Department said that he had received a report from a BP clerk, who told police that Williams was “acting erratic” and “threatening that he had something in the trunk of his vehicle” after he got into a heated altercation about paying for gas.
Sgt. Brent Blankley said in a news release that found Williams was found driving in a 2007 Honda Accord at the corner of 2nd Ave. and University. It was then that officers found a pistol in Williams’ pants pocket, which he did not have a license to own. He was arrested and later released on $500 bond. This was the first arrest over two days. He was released on $500 bond then, only to go out and commit the latest crimes with his fellow ball players. Jail records have no record of attorneys for any of the arrested ball players.
This is a very serious matter and we are very disappointed in the actions that have resulted in the charges against these student-athletes,
Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore said in a statement issued by UA following that arrest.
In this type of situation, the Athletics Department works in conjunction with the University. We will have more to say at the appropriate time.
Promising Careers Gone
All had shown promise on the field. Pettway, who was a freshman, had played in 13 games and had 2 1/2 sacks and eight tackles. Teammate Hayes recorded 14 tackles as a freshman and Calloway played mostly on special teams but gained 63 yards on 10 carries. He was a versatile player and often “moved around on the field”, working as a linebacker, tight end and H-back since Alabama signed the onetime Auburn commitment.
Calloway, a five-star recruit, has had his own run ins with law enforcement. He was also was arrested in 2011 by Tuscaloosa police on second-degree possession of marijuana. At the time of his arrest, Alabama assistant athletic director Jeff Purinton told the media that any punishment would be handled internally.
Clearly, these young men have opted to take different paths versus the ones that their football skills and college educations would have taken each of them down. Now, though, it’s beginning to look as though this is little more than another small time ring of thieves who are looking to take advantage of those with cash, credit cards and vulnerable situations.