Sam Ukwuachu, former Baylor and Boise State defensive end, was sentenced by a judge in McLennan County, Texas, for a 2013 sexual assault on a member of the Baylor women’s soccer team.
The 22-year-old was found gulty of second-degree sexual assault from an October, 2013, incident, and was sentenced to 180 days in the county jail, according to Bleacher Report, and 10 years probation.
“Judge sentenced Baylor DE Sam Ukwuachu to felony probation for 10 years, 180 days county jail. Jury had recommended 8 years prison,” ESPN’s Max Olson tweeted.
“The jury recommends that Sam Ukwuachu be sentenced to 8 years in prison but that the sentenced be probated,” Tommy Witherspoon revealed on Twitter.
Head coach Art Briles previously denied knowing anything about the circumstances of Ukwuachu’s dismissal from the football team at Boise State. He added that Chris Petersen, the head coach when Sam played for the team, made “no mention of anything beyond Sam being depressed and needing to come home,” Sport Act reports. “So that was our information. And that’s what you go by.” The school had also released transfer documents that stated Ukwuachu was cleared to transfer to Baylor and had no eligibility issues at Boise State.
— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) August 21, 2015
“After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles,” Petersen said, contradicting Briles’ story. “In that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam’s disciplinary record and dismissal.”
*Exactly* what Chris Petersen told Art Briles about Sam Ukwuachu is critical http://t.co/jqqZu4h6Ud pic.twitter.com/XIkDBY11Ph
— Earl (@JasonKirkSBN) August 21, 2015
On Friday, Briles issued another statement regarding his conversation with Petersen in May, 2013, following Ukwuachu’s dismissal, Texas Monthly reports. The only thing Briles said he knew was that Sam had been having a “rocky relationship” with his girlfriend, which had contributed to his depression. He still denied knowing anything about the sexual assault.
“I was contacted by Coach Petersen at Boise State in spring 2013 and he told me he had a player from Texas who needed to get closer to home and that he thought our program would be a good spot for him. I know and respect Coach Petersen and he would never recommend a student-athlete to Baylor that he didn’t believe in.
In our discussion, he did not disclose that there had been violence toward women, but he did tell me of a rocky relationship with his girlfriend which contributed to his depression. The only disciplinary action I was aware of were team-related issues, insubordination of coaches and missing practice.”
Who do you believe, Art Briles or Chris Petersen? Do you think Ukwuachu received a fair sentence? Leave your comments below.
[Photo by Gregory Shamus / Getty Images]