Ohio State has issued a statement regarding the status of sophomore tight end Louis Irizarry and sophomore tailback Ira Guilford, who were arrested following an early-morning incident on the OSU campus this morning.
According to reports, the two players were arrested after allegedly trying to rob a man. Irizarry and Guilford were apprehended by OSU police after they allegedly struck a man, knocked him to the ground and then tried to take his wallet.
The alleged incident took place on College Road and West 19th Avenue around 3 a.m. The two were originally charged with robbery in connection with the incident.
This afternoon, OSU head coach Tressel issued the following statement regarding the situation:
"We are aware of the situation," Tressel said. "We view it as very serious. We are looking into it aggressively to learn more about the facts. In the meantime, both players have been suspended indefinitely. It appears likely they could lose their privilege to play for Ohio State in 2004."
Irizarry, a 6-5, 235-pound tight end from Youngstown, Ohio, and Guilford, a 6-0, 190-pound tailback from Hoboken, N.J., both played as true freshmen for the Buckeyes in 2003.
Guilford played in five games. He gained 64 yards on 28 carries. He figured to be in the running at tailback this spring, but missed all of spring ball. As spring wound down, Tressel told reporters his absence was due to “department policy” without elaborating.
Irizarry played in seven games, primarily on special teams and did not catch a pass. He missed the last four games of the regular season after he was charged with assault in connection with a dorm-room fracas on campus in late October. He was sentenced to probation, was reinstated to the team and played in the Fiesta Bowl win against Kansas State.
He participated in spring practice, catching three passes for 21 yards in last Saturday’s Scarlet and Gray Game. He ended the spring as the backup to junior Ryan Hamby at tight end. If Irizarry’s suspension holds up, OSU could turn to senior Jason Caldwell, walk-on Jordan Hoewischer or incoming freshmen Rory Nicol or Chad Hoobler to back up Hamby.
Irizarry, a star at Youngstown Ursuline High School, was recruited to OSU in 2003 as one of the nation’s top tight end prospects. He originally committed to OSU in December 2002, only to switch to Miami (Fla.) after watching Kellen Winslow Jr. play against OSU, ironically, in the Fiesta Bowl national championship game. But weeks later -- after Miami accepted verbal commitments from other tight ends -- he switched his verbal back to Ohio State.
It was unclear how this arrest may affect Irizarry’s probation. The players were reportedly due to appear in Franklin County Municipal Court Friday.
The arrest of these two players follows the citation of senior fullback Branden Joe for an open container violation earlier this week. Tressel had not commented on the status of Joe, who had a previous drunken driving conviction on his record.