Four Kentucky players suspended for incident with air soft gun on campus
Four Kentucky football players have been suspended for Saturday’s game against South Carolina for an incident involving shots fired from an air-soft gun on UK’s campus Sunday night.
The UK Police Department was alerted of gun shots fired on campus Sunday night, which caused the campus to go into a lockdown. A campus-wide search uncovered an air-soft pistol and security footage of the “persons of interest.” The group of offenders included backup quarterback Drew Barker, wideout Dorian Baker, tailback Stanley “Boom” Williams and defensive end Tymere Dubose.
All four players are freshmen, and all four will have to miss Saturday’s action against the Gamecocks. They will also serve further punishments handed down from within the Kentucky football program later this season for what UK called a “violation of team rules” in a media release Monday.
“Proper conduct is emphasized as a core value of our program,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops told UK media member Larry Vaught on Monday. “If we have a situation in which someone who does not act according to our standards, we hold him accountable.”
No one was hurt in the incident, and the air-soft gun is not considered a deadly weapon, but the shots caused quite a panic on campus and the search for the culprits dominated the news cycle in the Bluegrass well into Monday.
“We absolutely respect being part of a wonderful campus community,” Mitch Barnhart, UK director of athletics, told Vaught. “It disappoints us when one of our student-athletes does not live up to our expectations. We respect the process of the University and are working hand-in-hand with the campus community on this issue.”
Barker and Dubose are both backups and neither has had an impact on the team in its four games so far this year. Baker and Williams, however, have been major impact players in the Wildcats’ offense, and their absence will loom large in Saturday’s game. Baker has 11 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown so far this season. Williams has added 16 carries for 99 yards and a rushing touchdown in addition to five catches for 75 yards and a receiving touchdown.
UK Police Chief Joe Monroe also released a statement Monday regarding the incident, indicating UK police found two more “BB guns” and that all offenders have been properly identified. Here’s what Monroe told Kentucky Sports Radio:
Today, University of Kentucky Police continued its investigation into Sunday’s incident on campus. We have been able to identify all of the people in a picture from last night’s incident captured on security cameras. Moreover, three BB guns connected with the incident were recovered as part of our investigation. UK Police officers also have interviewed those identified in the picture and worked closely with the Office of Student Affairs and the Department of Athletics on the appropriate next steps. To that end, we will be meeting tomorrow with the Fayette County Attorney’s office to determine what actions should take place. Once that investigation is completed, that information will be turned over to the Office of Student Affairs as dictated by university policy to investigate whether any violations of the code of student conduct have taken place.
It appears the players are not completely out of the water yet, but for now all four know they won’t be suiting up in a crucial SEC East matchup Saturday night in Commonwealth Stadium.