RALEIGH — Two freshman NC State football players have been dismissed from the team and three others have been suspended, according to a statement issued Tuesday by coach Dave Doeren and athletic director Debbie Yow.
Wide receiver Antoine Thompson and defensive end Kevince Brown are no longer with the Wolfpack while the discipline for linebacker Isaiah Moore, running back Erin Collins and defensive end Xavier Lyas has “been handled internally.”
Of the five players, only Thompson — a four-star prospect from Plant City, Fla. — was thought to have a chance at contributing this season.
The disciplinary action is connected to a report of sexual battery and underage drinking a party that took place at the Wolf Village apartment complex on July 21. All five players were enrolled in summer school at the time.
NC State’s campus police, in its daily crime log, shows that at 8:40 p.m. it received a Campus Security Authority Report “that indicates a sexual battery occurred.” The entry went on to say that “appropriate resources” were provided and “appropriate personnel” were notified.
No charges have been filed as a result of the incident, but an investigation is ongoing involving both the campus police department and the Wake County District Attorney’s office. A Title IX investigation is also being conducted by university administrators.
Yow, in her statement, said that the disciplinary action handed out to the five players was the result of a violation of football team rules and State’s Student Athletic Code of Conduct. She said that the actions “are not regarding allegations of sexual assault,” but added that the university could still impose further penalties “if new violations are discovered.”
“To be clear, the actions taken by athletics are separate from any that might be imposed by the university or legal authorities,” she said. “We fully support those processes.”
Like Thompson, Collins and Lyas are also from Plant City, Fla. Brown is a resident of Orlando, Fla., while Moore is from Chester, Va.
“We have a locker room full of young men committed to representing our university with integrity and respect, and have created a strong culture for NC State football through our leadership program,” Doeren said in his statement. “We had five freshmen, two of whom have been dismissed, who made poor decisions that don’t align with the values of our program and each has been handled accordingly.
“Although I’ve disciplined these players for violations of the Student Athlete Code of Conduct, I want to make it clear that I respect due process in the university and legal proceedings. Our players understand that I’m going be firm, but fair when it comes to discipline.”
Tuesday’s disciplinary action was the first noticeable glitch to a preseason camp that had previously been free of injuries, controversy and other distractions for a Wolfpack team headed into the 2017 season with high expectations.