Not enough evidence Vito Tisdale was armed at March party, according to report


Kentucky football player Vito Tisdale leaves the Fayette County District Courthouse after their preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

New information has come to light regarding one of the six Kentucky football players who currently face criminal charges, stemming from an incident that occurred at an off-campus fraternity party in March.  

A UK Office of Student Conduct report was released to BBN Tonight by friends and family of Vito Tisdale, who is currently charged with first-degree burglary as well as wanton endangerment for allegedly pointing a firearm at a victim. 

The hearing board found that while Tisdale participated in the events, they agreed that racial slurs played a “significant role” in the incident and that there was a lack of evidence to determine with certainty that he possessed a gun. 

Tisdale, along with R.J Adams, JuTahn McClain, Andru Phillips, Earnest Sanders IV and Joel Williams were all cleared by the UK Office of Student Conduct in June, but the first-degree burglary charges were still filed against them on Aug. 19. 

The initial report states that three individuals entered a private party uninvited. Once asked to leave, the subjects threatened to return, eventually doing so alongside other subjects.  

Upon returning, the subjects allegedly forced their way into the residence, resulting in a physical altercation.  

All six players pleaded not guilty at arraignment on Aug. 20 and had their preliminary hearing waived on Aug. 26 in Fayette County District Court.  

Denny Butler, a former Kentucky state representative and Louisville police sergeant, told Kentucky Sports Radio on Monday that he is now working with the six players that were charged. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Carlos Phillips, father of Andru Phillips, posted on Twitter what appears to be a letter from the UK Office of Student Conduct from April 23 seeming to clear his son of any wrongdoing. 

“There’s flaws in the system at times and we have to trust that system, and we will, but I also stand by our players until I have the evidence that tells me otherwise,” UK football head coach Mark Stoops said at a news conference on Monday.  

Stoops noted that the players have been away from the team for 13 weeks due to the investigation conducted by UK, as well as the criminal charges.  

It is unknown if the status of the players will change between now and game one against Louisiana Monroe on Sept. 4.

When asked about his confidence in bringing the six players back to the team, Stoops’ response was simple: 

“I have to be careful in how I say this, I want to. You know, I want to. We’ll see.”