Colorado Buffaloes Coach 'Shocked' By Arrests

By: AP
By: AP

University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins said Wednesday he was shocked by the arrest of two former Buffaloes players.

Bernard Jackson and Lionel Harris were arrested over the weekend on charges stemming from an armed robbery at an apartment earlier this month.

"It's embarrassing, it's upsetting," said Hawkins, who spoke at a football kickoff luncheon in Colorado Springs.

Jackson and Harris were formally charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree burglary, four counts of aggravated robbery, second-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and two counts of menacing.

Jackson, the starting quarterback in 2006, and Harris, a defensive back last season, remain locked up in Boulder County Jail. Their bail is set at $250,000.

The next court date for Jackson is July 14 for a preliminary hearing. Harris will appear July 8 for a bond modification hearing. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 11.

Police have said that more arrests were possible as their investigation continues into the "home-invasion style" robbery of June 5.

Hawkins said he hasn't contacted either Jackson or Harris.

"I always coach these guys like they're my own kids," Hawkins said. "I'm a little bit old school. You know what: if I landed in jail, I don't think my dad is going to run down and see me. My dad is probably going to go, 'OK big boy, you got yourself into this, you get yourself out.' Part of parenting is getting kids to learn from their failures and their mistakes."

The arrests of Jackson and Harris were the latest blow to the football program.

Colorado linebacker Michael Sipili and former defensive lineman Christopher Perri were recently sued over an assault that happened last year.

Sipili, a junior this fall, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in September. He was suspended from school and the football team last fall but is expected to return this fall and compete for a starting spot.

Perri was suspended for three games. However, CU sports information director Dave Plati said Perri was dismissed from the team at the beginning of the year for having too many team violations.

Despite the rash of transgressions, Hawkins doesn't feel like he needs to change the delivery of his message to the team.

"They know what the standard is, they know what the consequences are," he said. "Like anything else, just the reality of what happens sinks into kids more -- whether it's getting drafted or somebody getting in trouble ... You just have to keep sticking to your principles, sticking to your morals, sticking to your values, emphasizing that. That's what you do."


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