A&M Suspends Arrested Football Players Indefinitely

By: Steve Fullhart/Chace Murphy Email
By: Steve Fullhart/Chace Murphy Email

Two Texas A&M football players have been suspended indefinitely after their arrests Wednesday night.

Offensive lineman Yemi Babalola and defensive end Brandon Joiner were arrested Wednesday afternoon, with Babalola accused of an aggravated robbery last Thursday.

Around 3:45 p.m. on November 29, College Station authorities were called to the Callaway Villas Apartments on Marion Pugh after a resident reported two men forcefully entered the residence, including striking the person who answered the door.

That resident and a friend were bound with tape and held at gunpoint while small items were taken.

Another resident of the apartment was able to escape through a third-floor window, according to authorities.

Acting on a search warrant Wednesday, authorities went to Babalola's home and found evidence, along with marijuana. He is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony and is punishable by between 5 and 99 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Babalola is a 21-year-old junior who starred on the Bryan High School offensive line. He is currently free on $52,000 bond.

Authorities say they gained enough evidence at Babalola's home to obtain a search warrant on Joiner's residence.

When they performed that second search, authorities say they found more evidence, along with marijuana, ecstacy and hydrocodone.

As of Thursday, Joiner has now been charged with aggravated robbery, anad does face one count of possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. One of those drug charges is a felony.

Joiner is an 18-year-old freshman defensive end from Killeen who played at Shoemaker High School. He remains in Brazos County Jail on $16,000 bond.

“When Coach (Gary) Darnell called last night to inform me of the charges, he and I agreed that these young men need to be suspended from the football team. They will remain suspended until cleared of any wrongdoing," A&M athletics director Bill Byrne said in a prepared statement.

"From the information that we have at this time, it is obvious this is a very serious situation. The Texas A&M athletics department will cooperate completely with any investigation into this matter to gather all of the facts.”

The arrests are just the latest event in what has been a rollercoaster season for the Aggie football team.

Overall, the team finished 7-5 and earned a bid to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Penn State will be Aggies' opponents on December 29.

The regular season ended with a second straight win over rivals Texas. However, right after the game, Head Coach Dennis Franchione resigned after five years at the helm.

Earlier in the season, Franchione was admonished by the university after he was found to have been sending out newsletters with inside information on the team. An aid connected to the VIP Connection letters is no longer employed by the athletics department.

Less than three days after Franchione stepped down, Houston Texans Assistant Head Coach Mike Sherman, a former offensive line coach at A&M, was named the team's head coach, though Defensive Coordinator Gary Darnell will coach the Aggies in the Alamo Bowl.

Sherman will finish out the NFL season with the Texans.


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