All charges against six UK football players dismissed by grand jury


A helmet rests on the field during the University of Kentucky Football media day on Friday, August 5, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Charges have been dropped against six University of Kentucky football players, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. 

R.J Adams, JuTahn McClain, Andru Phillips, Earnest Sanders IV, Vito Tisdale and Joel Williams all had first-degree burglary charges dismissed against them by a Fayette County grand jury on Tuesday. A wanton endangerment charge that was filed against Tisdale was also dropped. 

“Nobody believed it would go this far,” head coach Mark Stoops said after practice Tuesday afternoon. “We’re glad to welcome the players back to the team [and] to be eligible to play this weekend.”

All six players who were indicted in August are reportedly permitted to return to practice immediately.  

“Part of that was we knew they had a hearing coming up and wanted to give them time to get back into shape, [and] to get the acquisition period back under their belt,” Stoops said.

Per NCAA rule, athletes must practice eight full days with no live tackling in helmets and shoulder pads before they’re allowed to participate in full pads at practice.

“They’re definitely back,” Stoops said about the six players being behind the rest of the team. “I noticed it today. We’re excited to get them back; I’ve been watching them, but they definitely need a lot of reps. They were back last week knowing they weren’t going to play. With game speed, game reps — I don’t know how fast that can happen,” Stoops said we’ll have to see about whether or not those six see the field this Saturday against Florida.

The report comes following a tweet from BBN Tonight’s Anna Tarullo on Monday night that stated the six players were allowed back at practice.  

The initial police report stated that an incident took place at a Lexington residence on March 6 which saw three individuals enter a private fraternity party uninvited. Once asked to leave, the subjects threatened to return.   

Later that night, they returned with other individuals, forcing their way into the residence. Court documents obtained by the Associated Press claim that a “physical altercation” took place, leaving multiple people injured. 

The UK Office of Student Conduct cleared the players in June, but the burglary charges were still filed against them on Aug. 19. 

All six players pleaded not guilty at arraignment on Aug. 20 and waived their preliminary hearing on Aug. 26. 

“I’m glad the truth has finally come out as my fabricated charges have been dropped,” Adams tweeted. 

The players had been held from team activities since UK learned of the players’ involvement in the incident. 

“I appreciate the University, Dr. Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart,” Stoops said. “We stuck by our players and we believed in them and believed that at the end of this process, they’ll be exonerated.”