Virginia football players face charges after fight at James Madison University

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 10, 2011; 1:15 AM

CHARLOTTESVILLE - Virginia linebacker Ausar Walcott, cornerback Devin Wallace and center Mike Price each face three misdemeanor charges of assault and battery by mob and one felony charge of burglary-entering a dwelling with the intent to commit an assault. The charges stem from an incident that occurred at an apartment near the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., on Jan. 30.

The incident took place at 1:34 a.m., according to a statement released Wednesday by the Harrisonburg Police Department. After a verbal altercation outside an apartment complex in the 800 block of Port Republic Road, the players entered an apartment and assaulted three male victims, police said. The three victims said they did not know the Virginia football players.

Two of the three victims were taken to Rockingham Memorial Hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. The statement said those two victims have since been released from the hospital.

Walcott, Wallace and Price "cooperatively" turned themselves in after warrants were obtained Tuesday, according to the police statement. Walcott is 21 years old; Wallace and Price are 20. All three are redshirt sophomores.

Later Tuesday, Virginia Coach Mike London suspended the three players indefinitely. Walcott and Wallace started for the Cavaliers last season, while Price was a reserve. The players "will not participate in any team activities while suspended," London said in a statement.

The first hearing for Walcott, Wallace and Price is scheduled for Feb. 28.

For Wallace (Friendly High), the incident was the second time in five months he had found trouble at James Madison, which is about an hour from Charlottesville. On Sept. 17, Wallace was arrested at JMU and charged with purchase/possession of alcohol, a Class 1 misdemeanor. He was found guilty in absentia. The penalties included the suspension of his driver's license for six months and a $500 fine, which Wallace has yet to pay and is past due, according to the Rockingham County General District Court.

A university spokeswoman said Wednesday evening that Wallace did not disclose the September arrest to London or to the school, which is a violation of the school's honor code. Wallace's case will be referred to either the university's honor committee or the University Judiciary Committee for investigation, and he faces the possibility of dismissal from the school.

Wallace's arrest last fall occurred during the Virginia football team's bye week. He started the Cavaliers' next game, a 48-7 win over Virginia Military Institute on Sept. 25, and recorded one tackle.

The penalty for Wallace's alcohol charge was finalized in a hearing Oct. 25. Wallace did not start the Cavaliers' following game, a 24-19 win over Miami on Oct. 30. Senior Mike Parker started in Wallace's place. London later said he had elected to start Parker because of Miami's tall corps of wide receivers and because Parker had practiced well the previous week. Parker is listed as 6 feet 2; Wallace is listed as 5-11.

After starting six of Virginia's first seven games in 2010, Wallace started once - a 55-48 loss Nov. 6 at Duke - in the five games after Oct. 25. He finished with 38 tackles, which ranked 11th on the team.

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