With some help from Daily Bama Blog contributor Brett Hudson and the Associated Press, Tom Smith with the TimesDaily in Florence wrote a story for the Wednesday print edition. Here is his work.
TUSCALOOSA — Former Russellville standout Brent Calloway was suspended from the Alabama football team today after being charged a day earlier with fraudulent use of a debit/credit card. Three of his teammates were also suspended after being charged with knocking students unconscious and stealing their wallets.
Calloway, 20, was accused of using one victim’s university action card/debit card and knowing it was stolen, according to a deposition filed in Tuscaloosa County District Court.
The deposition (which can be seen here) said Calloway admitted using the card for numerous purchases from the vending machine on the first floor of Bryant Hall. Calloway, a running back, was released on $5,000 bail.
The other football players arrested Monday:
– Defensive back Eddie Williams was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery and also fraudulent use of a credit/debit card. He was released on $65,000 bail.
– Linebacker Tyler Hayes was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery. He was released on $60,000 bail.
– Defensive lineman Dennis “D.J.” Pettway was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery. He was released on $60,000 bail.
– Hayes, 18, and Williams, 20, confessed to robbing a student who was punched in the head and face and kicked in the ribs and back early Monday morning, according to court documents.
Williams said Pettway, 20, and Hayes waited in a nearby vehicle about an hour later while he knocked out and robbed another student. Williams and Hayes both admitted to their involvement, according to the documents.
Williams also admitted to using a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines inside a dormitory.
“The young men charged are indefinitely suspended as we continue to gather information and talk to the appropriate people,” football coach Nick Saban said in a statement released this afternoon. “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.”
All four players were backups last season for Alabama, which has won two straight national titles and three of the past four. Williams didn’t play in 2012. But he was one of the nation’s top prospects the previous year and moved from receiver to safety.
The first student reported having his Apple Macbook Pro stolen from his backpack. Both sustained mild concussions, cuts on the face and heavy swelling, and had their wallets taken, according to documents.
The first incident occurred at approximately 12:35 a.m. in the 800 block of Campus Drive and the second at approximately 1:20 a.m. in the 200 block of Seventh Avenue, the school said today in a release.
University police posted an advisory Monday saying two students reported being robbed after they were approached by two men who asked for a light for a cigarette.
Athletics Director Mal Moore issued the following statement: “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.”
Police also said Williams had been arrested on a charge of carrying a pistol without a permit a day before his Monday arrest. Tuscaloosa police Sgt. Brent Blankley said in a news release that a clerk at a gas station called police early Sunday, telling officers that Williams threatened that he had something in his trunk after a fight about paying for gas.
Officers who pulled over Williams found a pistol in his pants pocket, the release said. In that case, he was released on $500 bail.
Jail records did not show whether any of the players had an attorney.
This is the second arrest for Calloway since he signed a scholarship with the Crimson Tide in 2011.
He was arrested on marijuana possession charges in October 2012 as a passenger in a vehicle stopped on campus.
A high school All-American at Russellville and four-star recruit, Calloway, along with the other three players, all were backup players on the 2012 National Championship team.
As a senior at Russellville, Calloway ran for 1,974 yards and 29 touchdowns while also starring at linebacker.
He made headlines in January 2011 after switching his long-standing commitment from Alabama to Auburn. Another change of heart led him to sign with the Tide in February 2011.