Former athletes removed from university, await final discipline

Disciplinary actions, which should be completed by late next week, are being taken on three former athletes arrested Friday in connection with a reported sexual assault of a female student, said the vice chancellor for student affairs Monday.Shannon Monroe Behling, 19, Virgil Allen Taylor, 19, and Lorenzo Labell Jones, 20, were asked to leave campus Thursday evening, and the decision to separate them from the university was made early Friday morning, said Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“In our policy for especially gregarious behavior, we can separate someone’s connection with the university before we have a full-fledged disciplinary hearing,” he said.

After being removed from campus Thursday, the suspects were told not to return until Friday, at which point they were to report to TCU Police, Mills said.

Tracy Syler-Jones, the assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communication, said the three men were then arrested at the TCU Police Department by Fort Worth police on Friday. Behling and Taylor were arrested at 3:30 p.m. and Jones at 4:35 p.m., according to a police report. As of Monday evening, the three suspects were being held at Mansfield Jail on second-degree felony sexual assault charges, according to jail records.

At the disciplinary hearing, Mills said, faculty and staff will listen to evidence about the incident and then reach an agreement about what actions should be taken. Mills said the committee’s recommendation to the university will likely include expulsion.

“Very rarely is that recommendation not accepted,” said Mills. “Ultimately, the chancellor could step in, but I don’t think it’s likely.”

He said a disciplinary committee, which will consist of four to five members, will review this incident; however, he said, the committee has not yet been formed.

While an official expulsion from the university cannot take place until after a disciplinary hearing, Syler-Jones said, the men have been issued criminal trespass warnings from TCU Police and will not be allowed back on campus unless escorted by police.

Based on current reports, Syler-Jones said, the men’s separation from the university is expected to be permanent.

According to the student handbook, students found in violation of sexual misconduct may be suspended or expelled from the university. Sexual misconduct includes any physical contact or conduct of a sexual nature that occurs without mutual consent from every individual involved. The handbook specifies that mutual consent cannot occur if any individual is incapacitated by any drug or intoxicant. According to the police report, the victim said she was drugged while drinking a nonalcoholic beverage before the assault.

Mills said Taylor was removed from the basketball team in September, and Behling was removed from the team after Friday’s arrest.

He said football scholarships would not have been taken away after a player’s removal from the team because the money is granted by semester. Whether athletic scholarships are renewed at the beginning of each semester is handled by the athletics department since it granted the scholarships, Mills said.

According to the police report, two of the suspects lived on the third floor of Moncrief Hall and one suspect on the first floor. Syler-Jones said the men’s items will be removed from their rooms. But when that process will occur has not yet been determined, she said.