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9 MSU football players charged with assault, 3 more suspended

Total of 13 players have been removed or suspended since Nov. 22 incident

December 9, 2009

Nine MSU football players have been charged with assault for their actions in the Nov. 22 altercation at Rather Hall.

The players are junior safety Roderick Jenrette, sophomore running back Glenn Winston, sophomore wide receiver Fred Smith, sophomore wide receiver B.J. Cunningham, junior wide receiver Mark Dell, redshirt freshman linebacker Jamiihr Williams, sophomore running back Ashton Leggett, junior offensive lineman J’Michael Deane and junior cornerback Chris L. Rucker.

In addition, MSU Associate Athletics Director of Communications John Lewandowski issued a statement Wednesday afternoon adding Deane, sophomore wide receiver Chris D. Rucker and redshirt freshman defensive back Donald Spencer to the list of players suspended from the team. Wednesday’s suspensions bring the number of players removed or suspended since the incident to 13.

“We reiterate our full support for the police investigation as it continues, and fully support the standards, cooperation, and decisions of coach Mark Dantonio and the athletics department,” the release stated.

Each of the charged players received one count of conspiracy to commit assault and battery, a misdemeanor charge carrying a maximum of one year in jail. All of them also were charged with at least one count of assault or assault and battery, which are misdemeanors with a 93-day maximum sentence.

Jenrette received three counts of assault or assault and battery, while Winston and Leggett received two.

Jenrette and Winston were kicked off the team Nov. 24 for violating team rules, while Cunningham, Smith, Dell, Williams, Leggett and Rucker were suspended Dec. 1.

Police identified all of them as being present at the Rather Hall incident.

Deane, Rucker and Spencer have not been publicly identified by police for their involvement in the altercation.

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunning said more charges could be forthcoming as police continue to submit reports to his office. No arraignments have been scheduled.

Ishmyl Johnson and Brynden Trawick both were suspended from the team Dec. 1 and were identified as being present at the Rather Hall incident, but have not been charged with crimes.

Witnesses have said the Nov. 22 incident occurred when a group of 15 to 20 football players stormed into a Rather Hall lounge where members of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity were holding a potluck. The witnesses said the players were searching for a particular fraternity member, but when they discovered he was not present, a fight ensued.

The fraternity also released a statement saying members of the team were involved in a Nov. 21 fight at The Small Planet, 16800 Chandler Road, which might have led to the Rather Hall incident.

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