With football practices underway, its time for our annual report on college football players behaving badly.
Overall, players are doing better this year nationally. Figures from January through July of 2012 revealed that there were 168 arrests of Saturdays gridiron heroes compared to 104 for the same period in 2013.
Unfortunately, the trend doesnt apply to the SEC. The conference had 19 arrests in 2012, but thus far in 2013, however, that number stands at 25.
Alabama leads the way with five arrests, involving four student-athletes. Defensive back Eddie Williams, defensive end D.J. Pettway, linebacker Tyler Hayes and linebacker Brent Calloway all were arrested for involvement in two robberies.
Williams, Pettway and Hayes allegedly attacked a man and took his backpack, which included a MacBook Pro. Later on the same day of that robbery, Williams allegedly assaulted a man and took his wallet that contained cash and credit cards. Calloway, who was not directly involved in either robbery, and Williams allegedly used the victims credit cards to buy snacks from a vending machine. Williams was also charged with carrying a pistol without a license in a separate arrest.
Following the two incidents, all four were dismissed from the Crimson Tide program.
Florida had four players arrested, one of them twice. They are cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy for possession of marijuana, offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker for grand theft of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license, punter Grant Van Aman for DUI and linebacker Antonio Morrison on two different occasions.
Morrisons first arrest came on a charge of simple battery after punching a nightclub bouncer when he was not given a discounted rate for admission. He also was charged with resisting arrest without violence and harassing an on-duty animal after he barked at a police dog. Those secondary charges have been dismissed. Nonetheless, he was been suspended for the Gators first two games
Dunker is no longer on the Florida roster after announcing that he would transfer.
Kentucky also has four players on the list, including offensive lineman T.J. Jones for a weapons law violation, safety Ashley Lowell for DUI and linebacker Pancho Thomas and running back Khalid Thomas for possession of a controlled substance.
Texas A&M comes in with three arrested. Cornerback Deshazo Everett and safety Floyd Raven were charged with two counts of assault causing bodily injury and a count of criminal mischief, while defensive lineman Kirby Ennis was cited for disorderly conduct and display of a firearm.
Three Georgia Bulldogs made the arrest list: place-kicker Marshall Morgan for boating under the influence, defensive tackle John Atkins for operating a motor vehicle without a license and not wearing a seat belt, and tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith for filing a false report of a crime.
Flournoy-Smith is no longer with the team after announcing that he would transfer.
Other SEC arrests include Arkansas defensive end Austin Flynn for DUI, careless driving and no proof of insurance, Mississippi wide receiver Philander Moore for domestic violence and simple assault, Mississippi quarterback Barry Brunetti for possession of drug paraphernalia, LSU running back Jeremy Hill for simple battery and Mississippi State linebacker Chris Hughes for third degree assault domestic violence. Moore and Hughes have been dismissed from their teams, and Flynn has transferred from Arkansas.
The ACC has only four arrests during the past seven months, and two come from the Florida State roster. They are running back James Wilder for failure to appear in court due to a suspended drivers license and wide receiver Greg Dent for sexual assault on a person over age 12. Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes was arrested for felony malicious wounding, and N.C. State defensive lineman Logan Winkles was arrested on charges of driving while impaired and consumption of alcohol by a person under 21.
Outside the SEC and ACC, the school with the most arrests thus far in 2013 is the Mike Leach-coached Washington State Cougars. To date, they have seven players on the list.
Urban Meyer, who saw more than 30 of his players arrested when he was head coach at Florida, is seeing that trend continue at Ohio State. Since joining the Buckeyes, he has seen nine players arrested, including three since the first of this year. Defensive lineman Tim Gardner was arrested for obstruction of official business, cornerback Bradley Roby was arrested for battery resulting in bodily injury, and tight end Marcus Baugh was picked up for underage drinking and possession of false identification.
Professionally, since the first of the year, 52 NFL players have been arrested, and among them is former Florida Gators and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who has been charged with first-degree murder.
Bobby Pope is the executive director of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org