Three Colorado State football players have been suspended indefinitely after being accused of the "savage beating" of four freshmen after a party late Friday night.
Junior defensive end Nordly Capi, junior linebacker Mike Orakpo and junior defensive end Colton Paulhus are all accused in the beating that left the four victims with swollen eyes, chipped teeth, cuts and bruises. One victim, 20-year-old Donny Gocha, even had a boot print on his back.
The four freshmen were jumped on the street while walking home from the party and police were called to the scene. All four were taken away in an ambulance.
"Know this, that the harshest form that we could do is to indefinitely suspend until all the facts are out there," coach John McElwain told reporters at a news conference Monday. "... This is unacceptable in this program, it's unacceptable to this university, and until we get all the facts, we're totally cooperating in every way, shape or form that we can, so we get what really is out."
According to Gocha and 19-year-old John "JD" Haley, another victim, the football players rolled up in an SUV and started yelling homophobic slurs at the victims. Gocha told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that he yelled a similar insult, which brought the SUV to a halt and the players piled out. That's when the beating began.
"You could just tell they were looking for a fight," Haley told the paper. "They just started beating the back of Donny's head in.
"I covered Donny's head with my body," Haley said. "We were all scared for his life. It froze me. You can't really put into words how disturbing it was. My only thought was to protect his head."
Mike Orakpo (Ron Chenoy/US Presswire)
"Well first off, I want to apologize for what my teammates have done to three students last night. I just talked to the students who were assaulted. I hang out in their hall regularly and do not believe that there is any hostility between us," Cassidy wrote Saturday on a Facebook group where Haley had posted photos of his injuries. "I figured everyone else should know that not everyone on the team are like these athletes that get into fights every other weekend. But it is this select few … that get the rest of us labeled as a group, you would assume that everyone on campus would realize this. But let's face reality people, some people are going to label the entire team as hot headed people that can't be trusted."
Cassidy later added: "A group of football players jumped a few students, I am not allowed to really get into it but I can say they are currently suspended."
Capi led the Mountain West in sacks last season and Orakpo, younger brother of former Texas star Brian Orakpo, was the Rams' third-leading tackler in 2011. Both players were involved in a stabbing incident on St. Patrick's Day that left a teammate with a stab wound in his arm, but no charges were filed and the players were not disciplined.
Paulus transferred to Colorado State from American River College in Sacramento, Calif., last winter and played all 12 games on special teams.
Police are still investigating and no charges have been filed. The university is waiting for the legal process to work out before it determines the fates of the four players, which could include expulsion.