Schulz, Athletics director, police chief discuss football-police relations

Schulz, Athletics director, police chief discuss football-police relations

WSU President Kirk Schulz and Athletic Director Bill Moos met with Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins on Thursday to discuss recent conflict between the football program and police in the wake of several assault cases allegedly involving football players.

WSU Football Head Coach Mike Leach criticized the handling of these investigations after practice on Tuesday, saying police have unfairly singled out football players without accusing other parties involved.

“The system has to be checked,” Leach said, “if with the number of people involved in all these incidents, that the only ones accused … are football players. If that’s the case, then something is seriously wrong, which goes far deeper than whatever has even been alleged.”

Jenkins, in response to Leach’s comments, said the police department does not discriminate against anyone and that investigators simply followed the evidence in each case.

“I’ve personally been monitoring these cases”, Jenkins said, “and I … have come to the conclusion that there is no evidence to suggest that (football players) have been targeted.”

He said the series of alleged assaults in a short period of time has likely been overwhelming and he understands Leach’s position. Jenkins said he will meet with Leach soon as well, but he denied that anyone has been given preferential treatment in investigations.

“They didn’t pick a person because of who they were,” Jenkins said.

Rush linebacker Logan Tago was arrested on Monday for second-degree assault and second-degree robbery following an investigation into an incident in June. The department is also recommending second-degree assault charges against safety Shalom Luani for an alleged assault at Domino’s Pizza in September.

Multiple football players were allegedly involved in an assault at a party in July as well. No one has been arrested and the investigation continues, but nose tackle Robert Barber was expelled from WSU on Thursday after a student conduct investigation into the incident.

Reporting by Cody Cottier