Eight U-Va. lacrosse players have been charged with alcohol-related offenses during their careers at the school
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Eight of the 41 players on the roster of the University of Virginia men's lacrosse team, including accused murderer George Huguely, have been charged with alcohol-related offenses during their careers at the school, according to court records.
The charges include underage alcohol possession, using a fake ID and driving while intoxicated, according to a review of records available online. Two players were found not guilty, while six were convicted or pleaded guilty. A ninth player was charged with underage possession of alcohol, but it is unclear whether he was attending U-Va. at the time. His case was dismissed.
Huguely's arrest Monday in the death of Yeardley Love, a classmate and fellow lacrosse player, has focused scrutiny on Huguely's earlier arrest for a drunken, violent confrontation with a police officer, and on his team's reputation among students for hard partying.
The fatal altercation between Huguely and Love early Monday in her Charlottesville apartment may not have been their first violent encounter. Two months before Love's death, two current and one former University of North Carolina lacrosse players intervened to separate Huguely from Love at a party on the U-Va. campus in Charlottesville, according to two sources with knowledge of the incident. The UNC players were in Charlottesville visiting with friends.
A reporter asked U-Va. President John T. Casteen III about the incident at a news conference Wednesday. Casteen said he knew nothing about it. Huguely's attorney did not immediately reply to a phone message and e-mail seeking comment.
Casteen also said that school officials were unaware of Huguely's prior arrest and that officials, coaches and trainers had no indication of violence on his part. But Casteen acknowledged that "there are a number of gaps in this system that concern me." He said the school would begin to screen students against public records before each semester.
U-Va. Athletic Director Craig Littlepage, asked about the alcohol-related arrests at the news conference, said, "I'm sure those incidents that have been brought into the pipeline were handled in a manner that was consistent with what our longstanding policies have been."
Huguely told police he shook Love during a violent argument before her death, hitting her head repeatedly against a wall, according to affidavits filed by police in support of a search warrant. The pair, both 22, had dated for at least a year, but Love broke off the relationship in recent weeks, according to people close to them.
Huguely's attorney has said Love's death was a tragic accident.
In November 2008, Huguely pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, public swearing and public intoxication after a drunken scuffle with a female police officer during a visit to Lexington, Va. The officer said Huguely told her, "I'll kill you. I'll kill all of y'all. I'm not going to jail," in a diatribe laced with racial, sexual and other vulgar terms. She used a Taser to subdue him.
Huguely received a 60-day suspended sentence, six months' supervised probation and a fine, according to court records. He was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and 20 hours of substance abuse education, which he finished in July, the records show.
His lacrosse team has a strict alcohol policy. In 1999, Coach Dom Starsia adopted a rule that allowed players to drink only one night a week, usually Saturdays. A player who broke the rule a single time would be suspended indefinitely. A second offense would result in dismissal from the team.