Robert C. Dillard, chief of police, and Captain H. B. Norton, operations manager, confirmed that three University of Richmond baseball players charged with felonies were involved in the Gray Court thefts that occurred during Spring Break.
The players, junior Andrew Lowry and freshmen Jacob Mayers and Blake Geiger, were arrested by Investigator Tim Mihalcoe on March 24, from thefts that occurred in Gray Court on March 8. All three players have been suspended indefinitely, according to a source close to the team.
Lowry and Geiger were both charged with grand larceny for thefts valuing more than $200, a Class O felony, and burglary with the intent to commit a felony, a Class 3 felony. Mayers was also charged with burglary and felony grand larceny, a Class U felony.
As a result of the investigation, the police team cleared eight burglaries in Gray Court on March 8, Dillard said. There were multiple burglaries and several larcenies, he said.
Nine burglaries were reported in the police report that ran in the March 25 issue of The Collegian, eight of which occurred in Gray Court. Items reported stolen included two Xboxs, video games and controllers, Bose speakers, a digital camera, DVDs, an external hard drive and cash.
"The students involved were cooperative," Dillard said. "They knew they had done wrong, and they returned as much stolen property as they could locate. Now they know they have to face the music."
This incident is extremely rare at Richmond, said Brian Eckert, director of media and relations. "I've been at this university for 11 years, and nothing like this has ever happened."
Multiple baseball players contacted refused to comment and said that they were told not to discuss the incident with the media. Mark McQueen, head baseball coach, has yet to return several phone calls and voice mails.
"I cannot comment on any specific student-athlete's situation," said Jim Miller, director of Richmond athletics. "However, in accordance with our student-athlete code of conduct, any student-athlete charged with a felony is immediately suspended from team activities."
Athletic scholarships are awarded yearly, Miller said. No athlete on campus has a four-year scholarship. In order for Lowry, Mayers and Geiger to continue receiving their athletic scholarships, the funding must be recommended for renewal at the end of the academic year.
"Any outcome or sanction for violation of university policy will result from the student's level of responsibility, involvement, acceptance of responsibility, and past disciplinary history and precedence," Eckert said when asked about the possible ramifications of the recent arrests and felony charges.
Lowry, an outfielder, played during 39 games last season and committed just one error. He started 11 games for the Spiders this season and his .340 batting average ranked third on the team.
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Mayers appeared in 12 games this season for the Spiders and had nine hits, including two home runs, during 32 at-bats. Geiger has not appeared in a game for Richmond yet, according to RichmondSpiders.com.
"This kind of publicity never brings credit to the university," Eckert said. "It is important to remember that there are problems within every community, but this issue will not be taken lightly," Eckert said.
Lowry and Geiger have preliminary hearings scheduled for April 16. Mayers' hearing will take place on May 25.
Eckert emphasized that the students in question have only been charged with felonies, and have not yet been convicted.
THIS STORY WILL BE UPDATED WITH MORE INFORMATION AND QUOTES.
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