As you now know, six Kentucky football players were charged last week with first-degree burglary.
After the charges were made, Mark Stoops released a statement explaining that UK has known about the incident since March. It was reviewed by the UK Office of Student Conduct and the players were allowed to return to team activities following the review.
“We have been aware of this matter since March, as we withheld the players from team activities while a student conduct review was held,” Stoops said last week. “Based on the outcome of the review, the players returned to activity in June. We’re evaluating the current situation as we receive more information.”
Since the charges, the players have once again been pulled out of practice. That includes promising second-year safety Vito Tisdale, who was expected to have a big role in the defense this season. Tisdale has also been charged with wanton endangerment for allegedly waving a firearm at the party.
On Monday, Stoops spoke at the Kentucky Football Kickoff Luncheon in Louisville, and he seemed confident that the players would return to the team soon.
“I know there are a few things going on out there right now that we will get straight, I promise ya,” Stoops stated. “I love this team. I love these players. None of them are perfect. That’s for sure. We don’t ever pretend to be, but you’re going to love this team.”
On Wednesday, the defendants waived their right to a preliminary hearing in Fayette District Court, moving the case to a grand jury.
Preliminary hearings are an opportunity for defendants to argue the merits of their case in a public court. Since that was waived, the prosecutors will argue their case to a grand jury in closed-door proceedings.
The prosecutors can take up to 60 days to establish a case. If enough evidence is present against the six players to convince nine out of the 12 jurors, then the grand jury will hand down an indictment and the case will then go to trial.
However, if the jury does not feel that there is enough evidence presented to indict the players, then the case will be dismissed.
With Kentucky’s regular-season opener now 10 days away, it’s hard to imagine all of this will be resolved by then, which means the six players may not play vs. Louisiana Monroe.