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Sports

Two UM football players charged with sexual battery

Sexual AssaultLaw EnforcementFootballMiami HurricanesUniversity of Miami

Two University of Miami football players were arrested Tuesday morning after telling police they had sex with a 17-year-old student without her consent, according to a police report. 

Jawand Blue, 20, and Alexander Figueroa, who turned 20 on Tuesday, were charged with sexual battery of a physically helpless victim, according to a release from the Coral Gables Police Department. Figueroa was also charged with possession of a stolen or fictitious drivers license. The victim was a student at Miami, according to police.

Police allege the girl was drugged before she was sexually assaulted. Both Blue and Figueroa told police they purchased several alcoholic beverages for the victim and brought her to a Pearson Hall dorm room where they had sex with the victim without her consent, according to a report.

The woman reported the incident to the University of Miami Police Department and Coral Gables police made the arrests Tuesday morning.

Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement both players have been permanently dismissed from the program.

"The University has also suspended the students from the school and barred them from all campus facilities while the University conducts an internal investigation and continues to cooperate with local law enforcement," James said in the news release. "Any allegation of a sexual assault is extremely serious, and the University will not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of our students and our campus. We hold all of our students - especially student athletes - to the highest standards of moral conduct. The University is committed to maintaining a safe campus environment for all."

The players were set to begin their sophomore seasons at Miami.

Figueroa, a linebacker who played high school football in Virginia, played in nine UM games last year. He started two contests for the Hurricanes, finishing with 17 tackles, including one sack.

Blue, a linebacker who graduated from West Boca Raton High, appeared in just one Miami game last season and recorded one tackle.

Figueroa was in contention to start at outside linebacker during the upcoming season, while Blue was in the mix for the reserve middle linebacker role. The Hurricanes were focused on improving their defense after struggling to contain opposing offenses much of last season.

University of Miami president Donna E. Shalala issued a statement outlining her support for James' decision to ban Blue and Figueroa from the program and the school.

"The safety and welfare of our students is fundamental to our mission as a university," Shalala said in the statement. "We have zero tolerance for sexual assault and gender-based violence."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Sexual AssaultLaw EnforcementFootballMiami HurricanesUniversity of Miami
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