Fortunately for Tulsa fans, they were already bracing for the worst when star receiver/kick returner Damaris Johnson was suspended last week on the heels of his girlfriend's arrest for felony embezzlement. So maybe it won't sting quite as much now that the worst is a reality: According to the Tulsa World, a warrant has been issued for Johnson's arrest on the same charges.
According to a police report, Johnson used his girlfriend's debit card on two different occasions to ring up more than $2,600 worth of merchandise at a Macy's department store where she works for a little over $13. The girlfriend, Chamon Jones, was booked last Friday and is currently free on bond. A police spokesman for Tulsa police said both Jones and Johnson have been cooperative in the investigation, though Johnson had not been taken into custody as of 5 p.m. Central time.
Initially, it seemed there was a possibility Johnson's suspension was NCAA-related, along the lines of then-Heisman candidate Peter Warrick's temporary suspension from Florida State for allegedly accepting drastically discounted clothes back in 1999. At this point, the NCAA is the least of his concerns.
Johnson may not be a household name, even among college football fans, but he deserves to be: With 326 yards as a runner, receiver and return man in Tulsa's 62-35 win over Hawaii last Christmas Eve, he became the NCAA's career leader with 7,779 all-purpose yards to his name and another season of eligibility to pad the record. Including the Hawaii Bowl, Johnson has turned in six 300-yard games over the last two seasons; no other active player in the Bowl Subdivision has eclipsed 300 more than once.
More directly for Tulsa, Johnson served as the leading receiver and second-leading rusher for an attack that led Conference USA — the most offensive oriented-conference in the FBS — in both total and scoring offense. Legally, he's innocent until proven guilty. But in football terms, just days before the Golden Hurricane kick off their season against Oklahoma, that is an awful lot to think about replacing.