Tucson police arrested four Arizona football players early last Friday morning after a brawl at a party near campus, according to a report by The Daily Wildcat.
According to police reports cited by the student paper, sophomores Eric Bender, Fabbians Ebbele and Jourdon Grandon were arrested on charges of assault and first degree criminal trespassing while sophomore Jared Tevis was arrested on charges of trespassing. Ebbele started 11 games for Arizona last season as offensive tackle and was named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News, and Grandon started four games at defensive back. Bender is a reserve offensive lineman, and Tevis a reserve linebacker.
According to the report, Tevis was invited to a party at the home of five UA students but arrived with four uninvited teammates. The group was asked to leave and one man, later identified as former UA safety Joshua Robbins, shoved a woman, who responded by slapping Robbins, inciting the initial brawl.
The players left after the fight but said, according to witnesses: "We will be back with our homies." The players returned with a group of between 10 and 30 people, forcibly entered the home and allegedly began assaulting people at the party. Grandon was said to have punched multiple women in the face.
Police dispatched to the home observed a vehicle speeding away from the home and stopped it. The occupants, who included Ebbele, Robbins, Tevis and Grandon, told police they had been called to the home by a friend "saying that he was jumped by a bunch of people." They admitted to being at the party but denied being involved in an altercation. Robbins was also investigated for driving under the influence.
UA athletic director Greg Byrne issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the news reports: We are taking this matter seriously. We are cooperating fully with the Tucson Police Department, and disciplinary action will be handled accordingly. Due to federal student-privacy laws, we will have no further comment.
UA coach Rich Rodriguez, who was hired in December, is expected to address reporters later Wednesday after practice. UA began spring practice Monday.