California University of Pennsylvania has suspended five members of their football team in connection with their arrests on Thursday. The school has also announced that Saturday’s home football game against Gannon will be cancelled and forfeited.
The players suspended were redshirt sophomore defensive end Jonathan Barlow, 21, of East Liberty, PA and Taylor Allderdice High School; redshirt freshman tight end D’Andre Dunkley, 19, of Philadelphia, PA; junior defensive back James Williamson, 20, of Parkville, MD; junior defensive back Rodney Gillin, 20, of Reading, PA; and senior defensive back Corey Ford, 22, of Harrisburg, PA.
The players are accused of attacking Lewis Campbell, 30, of West Chester, PA. They have been charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment, and criminal conspiracy. According to the criminal complaint, the players were “kicking, punching, [and] stomping Campbell to the point that he was unconscious and had to be flown to [a] trauma unit in Pittsburgh.”
The players are being held in Washington County Prison after being unable to post bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 17 with Magistrate Joshua Kanalis.
This is the third major legal incident involving the California football team this season. A player was arrested on riot charges after an altercation with police outside a bar earlier this month, and three players were arrested on drug-related charges in late September.
Interim university president Geraldine Jones released the following statement:
“California University does not tolerate violent behavior, and the five student-athletes charged in connection with this incident will face University sanctions, along with any penalties imposed by law.
“The police investigation is continuing, and the rights of these accused students will be upheld. But in light of these allegations, I asked Coach Kellar to cancel Saturday’s game. Behavior has consequences, and all Cal U students, including student-athletes, must abide by our Student Code of Conduct if they wish to remain a part of our campus community.
“At the same time, it must be clearly understood that the actions of a small group of individuals are not representative of our entire student body, nor of all Cal U student-athletes. I ask our entire campus community to recommit to our University’s core values, and to demonstrate through their words and their actions the best that our University can be.
“Our hearts and our prayers go out to the victim, his family and his friends. All else pales in comparison.”
The forfeiture of Saturday’s game against Gannon brings the Vulcans’ record to 7-2 on the season. Gannon and California are now tied atop the West Division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
PSAC commissioner Steve Murray announced that the league agreed with California’s decision to forfeit the game.
“Clearly this is a very serious situation that extends far beyond the results of a football game,” said Murray in a statement. “We accept California’s decision to not play this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family.”
The Vulcans were ranked 25th in the latest AFCA (Division II) Coaches Poll and 19th by d2football.com. California is scheduled to play next on Saturday, October 8, at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA.
University spokesperson Christine Kindl declined to comment further on the situation.
Photo Credit: California University of Pennsylvania