As it turns out, Georgia’s not the only high-profile team to open spring practice with an off-field cloud hanging over its head.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Florida State offensive lineman Ira Denson (pictured, No. 55) had, back in late December, used the debit card of running back Mario Pender without his teammate’s permission. The situation escalated two days later, leading to one man being charged with attempted murder in connection to a botched meeting agreed upon by Denson and Pender.
Tuesday, there was yet another development connected to the mess. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Denson was arrested by the Tallahassee Police Department and charged with petty theft and illegal use of a credit card. The paper wrote that “Pender said his card was used three times: once at a gas station for $5, another time at Champs for $134.36, and a third time at a Foot Locker for $362.”
Security video showed Denson and another man not connected to FSU athletics buying a pair of sneakers at the Champs location. That man, Shaquille Walden, told Tallahassee police that Denson had given him Pender’s debit card.
Pender informed the police that his card had been stolen from the football team’s locker room Dec. 19, and all of the illegal purchases were made that day. A probable-cause statement, as relayed by the Democrat, stated “Denson… was injured at the time and was only allowed to practice for a short time each day. Denson would leave practice early and go to the locker room before the other players.”
Denson, incidentally, is still listed on FSU’s online roster.
UPDATE (8:57 p.m.): The Associated Press reports Denson has been dismissed from the football team by Jimbo Fisher.
(Photo credit: Florida State athletics)