An offseason off-field situation has seen its chickens come home to roost for Western Kentucky.
WKU confirmed Tuesday that three football players — sophomore running back Quinton Baker, redshirt freshman wide receiver Xavier Lane and redshirt freshman linebacker Tyler Obee — have been suspended for the 2017 opener against Eastern Kentucky. Monday, each of those players pleaded guilty to complicity to second-degree wanton endangerment and complicity to fourth-degree assault under extreme emotional disturbance.
Those charges were misdemeanors.
In early June, that trio was charged with first-degree complicity to wanton endangerment; fourth-degree complicity to assault; and third-degree criminal trespass. The wanton endangerment charges were felonies, while the others were misdemeanors.
All of the charges stemmed from an alleged assault outside of a fraternity house.
Two other players, senior defensive lineman Chris Johnson and redshirt freshman wide receiver Jahcour Pearson, were charged with third-degree criminal trespass stemming from the same incident. As those are misdemeanors, no game suspensions will be levied.
Last season, Baker’s 575 rushing yards were second on the Hilltoppers, while his four rushing touchdowns were second on the team as well. For that, he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team.
Johnson started all 14 games last season and was second on the team with 12.5 tackles for loss, leading to honorable mention All-Conference USA honors.