Eyewitness testimony of Devin Butler‘s girlfriend and the fiancee of Fighting Irish wide receiver Torii Hunter, Jr., say the Notre Dame cornerback was a victim of police brutality during his weekend arrest.
South Bend police say Butler assaulted an officer, punching and slamming him to the ground, which necessitated the use of a stun gun to subdue him. From the AP:
South Bend police spokesman Lt. Joe Galea said that after officers broke up a fight inside the bar they saw two women fighting outside when Butler allegedly shoved one of the women. Butler was agitated and when officers told him to back away he allegedly pushed the officers and then attacked one of them.
The affidavit says Butler tackled an officer to the ground, punched him several times in the side and stomach and pulled off his duty belt.
“He shouted profanities at the officers and started swinging his fist,” Galea said of Butler.
But the eyewitnesses paint a picture diametrically opposed to the account of South Bend police. Butler’s girlfriend Haleigh Bailey told the South Bend Tribune:
“I was there that entire night. Reports say that everyone left the scene but I was still there and saw everything officers did to Devin.
“He was abused, and wrongly arrested. He never tackled an officer and he never intentionally hurt anyone. He had no reason to be tazed because he was never resisting arrest, and he was already on the ground complying when they tazed him.”
Butler has been charged with resisting law enforcement and battery of a police officer — both of which are felonies. He pleaded not guilty.
Police were originally called to the Linebacker bar early Saturday morning after a call reporting fights between patrons and bar security. Bar personnel said the fight was subdued by the time police arrived, but officers intervened in a fight between two women outside the bar. That’s when, police say, Butler shoved one of the women involved. Officers tried to detain Butler, but he resisted and ultimately assaulted the officers. Officer Aaron Knepper was evaluated for minor injuries to his back, arm, elbow and wrist at South Bend’s Memorial Hospital, but was later released.
“That 100 percent did not happen,” Selina Bell, Hunter’s fiancee, told the paper. “Devin didn’t even have the capability to pick someone up if he wanted to. He just got off of crutches the day before.”
Butler underwent surgery in June for a fractured foot, a aggravation of an injury he originally suffered in the Irish’s Fiesta Bowl loss in January.
Added Bailey, in a message to the Tribune:“Reports say that Devin did all of these aggressive things but in reality, he was grabbed by the police from behind and never told who was grabbing him or why they were grabbing him. Devin felt he was doing the right thing but out of nowhere was arrested for simply stopping an argument. He felt he had no reason to be detained… Devin has been in a boot/cast and on crutches recovering for the past 8 weeks. He is in no condition to be lifting weights, working out, or doing any ‘tackling.’ I have not seen him run let alone walk on two feet since the day before his surgery in June. I can assure you he did NOT tackle a police officer but police officers tackled HIM.”
Knepper was found guilty of unconstitutional behavior earlier this month for unlawfully entering a home and mistakenly using a Taser on a 17-year-old boy earlier this month. He was reprimanded in August of 2012 for forcing a 7-Eleven clerk to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon and eat 10 crackers in less than a minute, and in March of 2014 a 55-year-old South Bend resident and his 76-year-old mother accused Knepper of excessive force resulting from a traffic stop in which they were accused of resisting arrest and battering a police officer.
Make it a trifecta for the defending champions.
Just like the AP and Coaches’ polls, Alabama will enter the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the Super 16 poll, a joint venture between the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. (Full disclosure: both myself and CFT‘s Kevin McGuire are voters. I had Florida State at No. 1; Kevin chose LSU.)
The Super 16 poll mirrored both major polls as well by placing Clemson at No. 2, Oklahoma at No. 3 and Florida State at No. 4. The Super 16 mirrored the AP by selecting LSU over Ohio State to round out the top five.
The full poll:
- Alabama — 657 total points (26 first-place votes)
- Clemson — 628 (9)
- Oklahoma — 543
- Florida State — 542 (4)
- LSU — 510 (3)
- Ohio State — 468
- Michigan — 404 (1)
- Stanford — 343
- Tennessee — 330
- Notre Dame — 305
- TCU — 172
- Ole Miss — 171
- Michigan State — 168
- Houston — 160
- Washington — 111
- UCLA — 73
Iowa, Georgia, Oklahoma State and Oregon rounded out the leaders among the Also Receiving Votes crowd.
Oregon gave a lot to Marcus Mariota. But in the end, it’ll be the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner that will give more to his alma mater.
In addition to the aforementioned stiffarm trophy, the Tennessee Titans quarterback will serve as the namesake of the facility that Oregon has turned into its latest state-of-the-art toy. The 30,000-square foot renovation, funded by Phil Knight, is complete with all the bells and whistles that focuses on making Duck athletes the healthiest in college sports.
“The goal of this project was to create one space where we could utilize the most state-of-the-art technology to improve student-athlete wellness and emphasize our commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens in a statement. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of Phil and Penny Knight, we now have a world-class facility that is going to take the student-athlete experience at the University of Oregon to a level not previously seen anywhere on the collegiate level.”
And, yes, it comes with plenty of Nike branding, complete with a new equipment room that boasts 2.5 miles of shelving on 19-foot ceilings.
“Our hope was to recreate a Niketown-like atmosphere, with bright lighting and a lot of energy to showcase all of the unique features of our uniforms and other equipment,” director of equipment operations Aaron Wasson said.
Oregon representatives took fact-finding trips to NASA and Australia to research facilities which, in my favorite anecdote, includes the ability to complete up to 500 loads of laundry at once.
The SEC announced its coaches’ All-SEC selections on Thursday and, as you can imagine, these teams would be near impossible to beat on a field. Obviously, they’re stacked with the best players from college football’s most competitive conference. But they’d be extra-impossible to beat because the offense would take the field with 12 players on each side of the ball.
Some leagues name 15 or more players to their all-league teams, though, so the SEC isn’t the worst offender on the block. But, still, come on.
Anyway, here’s the first team:
First Team Offense
QB – Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
RB – Leonard Fournette, LSU
RB – Nick Chubb, Georgia
WR – Calvin Ridley, Alabama
WR – Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
TE – O.J. Howard, Alabama
C – Ethan Pocic, LSU
OL – Cam Robinson, Alabama
OL – Dan Skipper, Arkansas
OL – Greg Pyke, Georgia
OL – Alex Kozan, Auburn
AP – Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
First Team Defense
DL – Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
DL – Jonathan Allen, Alabama
DL – Derek Barnett, Tennessee
DL – Carl Lawson, Auburn
LB – Reuben Foster, Alabama
LB – Kendell Beckwith, LSU
LB – Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee
LB – Jarrad Davis, Florida
DB – Eddie Jackson, Alabama
DB – Jalen Tabor, Florida
DB – Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
DB – Tre’Davious White, LSU
PK – Daniel Carlson, Auburn
P – J.K. Scott, Alabama
RS – Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
RS – Evan Berry, Tennessee
The coaches’ selections speak to the power imbalance in the conference; 20 of the 28 first-team slots (71 percent) went to West Division players. Of the eight East players chosen, half hail from Tennessee. Alabama comprised a quarter of the team with seven selections, followed by LSU and Texas A&M matching Tennessee’s four — although A&M’s selections were really just Myles Garrett plus Christian Kirk in three separate positions.
The SEC’s season begins a week from tonight when Tennessee hosts Appalachian State (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network) and South Carolina visits Vanderbilt (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).