Bonds set for OSU players
Geiger says on-field future of Irizarry, Guilford looks 'grim'
Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 22:06
With their hands cuffed and jail clothes on, two Ohio State football players made their first courtroom appearance yesterday for the second-degree felony charges brought against them.
Tight end Louis Irizarry and running back Ira Bell-Guilford were charged with robbery and spent the weekend in jail following an early-morning incident Saturday. According to police reports, Irizarry and Guilford assaulted Kenneth Whitwell, an OSU student, and then took his wallet.
About 10 a.m. yesterday, Guilford and then Irizarry silently stepped before Franklin County Judge James E. Green. In separate arraignment hearings, both pleaded innocent to the charges. Both players entered their pleas through James Tyack, a Columbus attorney.
After quickly leafing through the paperwork in front of him, Green issued the defendants each a $25,000 surety bond. Guilford, however, was the only one who left jail yesterday. His bond was paid with the understanding that Guilford will show up for his preliminary hearing on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. Irizarry's hearing is scheduled for the same time.
Irizarry was ordered back to jail for potentially breaking the probation he is on, following October assault charges. He will not be able to post bail to be released until a hearing occurs or his lawyer asks for a bond on the probation violation.
"The basis for the revocation is that he has allegedly committed a robbery that violated that probation," said Tony Tedeschi, chief probation officer of Franklin County.
Tedeschi said Irizarry will be required to pay the bond on the robbery charges, as well as any additional amount asked for in a revocation hearing before leaving jail. No date has been set for the hearing.
Green is the same judge who handled the case following the October assault and will preside over the probation hearing. Irizarry was placed on a one-year probation Jan. 9, and Green said the involvement in the same or similar type of offense would be a violation of the probation. There are 177 days of suspension remaining on the assault case. Tedeschi said Green will have a number of options if Irizarry is found to have violated his probation.
Included in those options is the revocation of the probation with the understanding that Irizarry will serve the remaining 177 days from the assault sentence. It is also possible that Green could not require any of the sentence to be served and instead extend the time period of the probation.
"(Irizarry) will still have to post the bond on the robbery charges," Tedeschi said.
In Guilford's case, the State of Ohio asked Green to set a $50,000 bond. Tyack said he was representing Guilford for the arraignment hearing only and asked the judge that a reasonable bond be set in the case.
"I think Judge Green is a fair judge which wants to give these guys a chance to get out so they can start investigating the case on their own," Tyack said.
Tyack said he believes Paul Scott Jr. will be representing Guilford for the remainder of the hearings, but Scott was not available yesterday so Tyack stepped in for bail purposes.
Guilford's father, Duane, and Irizarry's parents, Louis and Evelyn, were present in the courtroom. Following the decision, Duane Guilford refused to talk to reporters, and Louis and Evelyn Irizarry said little besides "no comment" and "we can't speak on this right now."
"I just hope and pray everyone is patient at this time ... the truth will come out," Irizarry's father said, when asked if he had anything to say to the people of Ohio State and Columbus.
While no final decisions have been made regarding Irizarry's and Guilford's future on the OSU football field, the sentiment around the athletics department suggests the two might not step into competition for a while.
"It's looking grim," said OSU athletics director Andy Geiger.
Coach Jim Tressel issued a statement Saturday which said he was aware of the situation and was viewing it as serious. He added that it was likely Irizarry and Guilford could lose playing privileges at OSU in 2004.
"They have chosen to make mistakes on their own, and they have to suffer the consequences of those choices they made," Geiger said.