University of Memphis football player charged with rape
MEMPHIS, Tenn, — On the heels of a win, Coach Mike Norvell addressed the elephant in the room.
The fact that number 48 Ernest Suttles didn’t take the field—and was promptly kicked off the team after a rape was reported Saturday morning.
“We’ve had guys who make mistakes, and things that have come out that are embarrassing to our team but and the end of the day we stand for the right things,” Said Norvell.
In a matter of hours, Suttles went from the senior defensive lineman who averaged a good amount of tackles each game to an ex-tiger.
“Wow, this is shocking, another great player gone another loss for the team,” said Tiger fan Stevie Stone.
Police say the rape victim showed up to St. Francis hospital around three Saturday morning.
Through her account investigators were able to trace the location of the assault to Douglass Street not too far from the U of M’s campus.
According to the police affidavit, the victim told police she and Suttles were in a relationship for awhile but that on Thursday, October 12, he forced her to have sex.
“Here’s a guy now— rape, the last guy robbery. Something is going on there and it’s not good for the team we have to figure out what’s happening,” said Stone.
Stone says he’s a die-hard Tiger fan and he’s going to ride it out with the team.
But the thought of two players being dismissed for accusations related to serious crimes first Shun Rupert for robbery and now Suttles accused of rape in a span of 30 days doesn’t sit well with him.
Anytime you get an allegation like that on you it's not good even if you are not guilty just to be accused of that its tough," said Stone.
"Tough blow because this guy was possibly headed to the NFL now he could be facing jail time."
Coach Norvell says the actions of former players don't reflect the team as a whole and he’ll continue to strive for transparency as the season pushes on.
"I have nothing to hide with our program I think we are working to make sure every young man is making quality decisions for them and their future and we are going to continue to do that."
The U of M did release a news statement about Suttles dismissal from the team.
Ernest Suttles has been dismissed from the University of Memphis football team for a violation of team rules in an off campus incident. As was communicated in an earlier statement, Settles has been removed from campus while this matter is reviewed by the Office of Student Accountability, Outreach and Support for violations of the UofM Student Code of Conduct. During the ongoing investigation, no additional comments will be made.
The Commercial Appeal is reporting that Suttles attorney, Blake Ballin denies "any accusation of rape."
The senior has played in all five games this season, recording eight tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.