Hempstead, NY — Four Hofstra University basketball players were arrested for allegedly stealing about $20,000 worth of MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones from campus dorm rooms.
The quartet, who have been charged with various burglary offenses, apparently sold the devices to pawn shops, on Craigslist, or on the street.
Police Lt. Raymond Cote, according to the New York Post, suggests that the players used their on-campus prestige as athletes to to gain access to other dorm rooms:
“They were particularly fond of Apple products…They are prominent figures on campus and because of their social status, they would have access to dorm rooms and would get into areas.”
Cote added that the players used the proceeds of their thefts to “lead a more lavish lifestyle.”
Police got wind of the ring (which operated from early October to early November) when a Hofstra coed tracked down her missing iPad according to Deadspin:
“A student who had her iPad stolen used the ‘Find My iPad’ app and saw, according to police, that it had been reregistered to [one of the suspects]. And so campus authorities and police soon came after the basketball players.”
Without the four scholarship players, who have been suspended from the team and banned from campus, Hofstra lost to Southern Methodist (coached by Larry Brown) 73-47.
According to Newsday, the players have admitted some involvement in the thefts but pleaded not guilty in court on Friday. Newsday adds that police “used the players’ dormitory key card records and campus sign-in sheets to retrace their crime spree and link them to the thefts.”
Hofstra Pride head coach Mo Cassara had this to say following the arrest of his four players:
“I’m heartbroken. I love this place, and the opportunity I’ve been given here. I love all the players and people around this university, I love this team. I can’t tell you I’m the best coach in the world, but I do everything I can to reach out to this community, on campus and off. There’s nobody — nobody — that feels worse, that has slept less, that is more devastated about this than me.’”
Do you think this incident reflects poorly on Hofstra University generally or the athletic program in particular?