A timeline of Ole Miss' off-field troubles since last year
There have been nine Ole Miss football players arrested since Jan. 1, 2014, and although most of those arrests were for minor charges and misdemeanors, it still signals an unsettling and negative trend within Hugh Freeze’s program in Oxford.
Here’s a rundown of some of the Rebels’ players who have been arrested or at least in hot water since New Year’s Day of last year:
Jan. 28, 2014 — Bobby Hill arrested for sexual battery: While many of the Ole Miss arrests were for charges few would consider severe, Hill is a major exception. He was arrested last January for sexual battery, which is a felony charge, and was immediately suspended from the team. The 2013 cornerback signee appeared in 10 games as a freshman but was dismissed from the team prior to the start of the 2014 season. Because he faced a felony charge, Hill was forced to appear before a grand jury while his case was heard.
Feb. 15 — Denzel Nkemdiche and Serderius Bryant arrested for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, failure to comply with a police officer and public drunkenness: The older of the two Nkemdiche brothers got a bit too rowdy celebrating his 21st birthday last February, as most college students are prone to do on the birthday when consuming alcohol finally becomes a legal privilege. Nkemdiche was arrested for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct and failure to comply with a police officer while celebrating at an off-campus student apartment complex, which resulted in his suspension from spring practice and for the Rebels’ Week 1 victory over Boise State in his hometown of Atlanta. Bryant, a fellow linebacker on the team, also took part in the celebration and was arrested for public drunkenness and disturbing the peace. He, too, served a suspension but was eligible for the win over Boise.
Feb. 18 — Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche sued regarding alleged fight: Shortly after Nkemdiche and Bryant were arrested, both Nkemdiche brothers were sued regarding their participation in an alleged fight at an Ole Miss fraternity party that took place in Feb. 2013. Matthew Baird sued the brothers Nkemdiche for $2 million, claiming he was punched in the back of the head by Robert, who was a high school senior and Ole Miss commit at the time, and then kicked on the ground by Denzel and a handful of his Ole Miss teammates. The lawsuit never amounted to anything, but it did bring more negative attention to the Ole Miss program.
Oct. 13 — Photo leaked depicting Robert Nkemdiche lighting a bong: In the week leading up to Ole Miss’ showdown with border-rival Tennessee, a Volunteer fan leaked a photo taken via the popular app Snapchat depicting Robert Nkemdiche lighting a bong, typically used to smoke marijuana. In the blink of an eye the photo began circulating throughout the Internet, and although Nkemdiche was never punished for the photo (as the Tennessee fan would have liked in the days leading up to the game), it once again shined a negative light on the Ole Miss program in the midst of its best season in recent memory.
Dec. 21 — Chad Kelly arrested on numerous misdemeanor charges in Buffalo, N.Y.: Just four days after signing with Ole Miss out of JUCO national champion East Mississippi Community College, Kelly was arrested following a fight outside a nightclub in Buffalo. Kelly, nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, was charged with a handful of misdemeanors, including third-degree assault, second-degree harassment, second-degree menacing, resisting arrest, fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree obstructing governmental administration. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to perform 50 hours community service in addition to undergoing a drug and alcohol assessment and completing a treatment program. He has since arrived at Ole Miss as a January enrollee, and he will be able to complete his community service in Oxford.
Jan. 22, 2015 — Trae Elston, Damore’ea Stringfellow arrested for disorderly conduct (Elston also booked for resisting arrest): Earlier this month, two more Ole Miss players were arrested for disorderly conduct following a fight outside The Lyric, a popular bar and music venue located in Oxford. Neither player has been sentenced following the arrests. Elston, a rising senior, had a clean record prior to the arrest, while Stringfellow carries a much more troubling past. The former Washington Huskie sat out the 2014 season after transferring from UW following a post-Super Bowl incident in which he and a teammate allegedly struck a Seahawks fan in the face twice. Stringfellow eventually pled guilty to fourth-degree assault.