Last week, three Colorado State players were charged with one count each of disorderly conduct in what was described as the “savage beating” of a couple of fellow students, leading some to believe that the trio had a future with the football program.
Not only is that not the case, but the players won’t have a future at the university, either.
CSU announced via a press release Friday evening that former football student-athletes junior defensive end Nordly Capi (pictured), junior linebacker Mike Orakpo and junior defensive end Colton Paulhus have been expelled from the school. The expulsions come nearly a month to the day after the three were involved in a verbal altercation with three CSU students that became frighteningly physical and violent.
“Virtually every student-athlete and coach is horrified, angry and embarrassed by the actions of these few,” athletic director Jack Graham said in a statement. “With me, our student-athletes and coaches have accepted responsibility for these actions and for doing all we can to root out this behavior to the extent it may still exist.
“As AD, I want to make it absolutely clear that we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior by our student-athletes.”
CSU’s Office of Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services made the decision to expel those students, the Fort Collins Coloradoan wrote. All three have the right to appeal the decision, and the appeal must be filed no later than May 15. It’s unclear if any combination of the three will exercise that option.
Per the alleged victims, the incident, which occurred April 6, began when the players lobbed a homophobic slur from their vehicle, after which freshman Donny Gocha responded in kind. At that point, it’s alleged, the players exited the vehicle and commenced to beating on Gocha. Two of Gocha’s friends attempted to intervene, but were beaten as well. Neither of those two individuals were charged.
One of those friends, John “J.D.” Haley, told the paper shortly after the early-April incident that “[i]t wasn’t really much of a fight. It was basically just a beating. I’ve never seen anyone so mad, so violent. The kid was on a rampage.” Haley did not reveal which football-playing “kid” to which he was referring.
The Coloradoan described the incident as a “savage beating“, which left the alleged victims with various injuries, from chipped teeth to eyes nearly swollen shut to cuts and bruises to one having a boot print left on his back from where he was allegedly assaulted by one of the football players.
The three players, along with Gocha, were subsequently charged with disorderly conduct three weeks later. All three were immediately suspended indefinitely by head coach Jim McElwain.
The on-field loss of Capi will be a particularly significant blow for the first-year coach. Capi’s 10 sacks led the Mountain West Conference in 2011, while his 11.5 tackles for loss led the Rams. Orakpo’s loss will be felt defensively as well as he finished third on the team in tackles with 87.
Paulhus played in 11 games last season and was credited with seven tackles and half a tackle for loss.