- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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If there is big college football news in July, it's typically bad, and that's the cause with Utah junior cornerback Dominique Hatfield, who was arrested and jailed on suspicion of aggravated robbery early Wednesday morning.
No charges had been filed as of Wednesday evening, though Hatfield is being held on $50,000 bail, according to reports.
Hatfield was atop the Utes' post-spring depth chart and was a likely starter opposite Reginald Porter. Last year after switching from receiver, Hatfield recorded 38 tackles, broke up nine passes and returned an interception for a touchdown against Colorado.
If Hatfield is out, junior Brian Allen, redshirt freshman Casey Hughes or junior nickelback Justin Thomas are candidates to replace him, among others. Thomas, an eight-game starter last year, is the only one among that troika with significant playing experience.
Some of Hatfield's teammates reacted on Twitter, this from the Deseret News:
"We all had mistakes in our past time & did things we weren't posed to be doing in someone else's eyes. Live & learn, Never judge," University of Utah receiver Kenneth Scott, a friend of Hatfield's, tweeted Wednesday.
In what reads painfully now, Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson wrote last year about what Hatfield overcame to get to Utah.
That sort of potential pratfall to a redemption story was on Brad Rock's mind.
But when a player gets suspended or dismissed, there are 100-plus teammates who pay for it, too. Meanwhile, parents who can rightfully feel proud of sending their children to college must deal with the disappointment. The letdown spreads to others, including neighborhood kids who look up to the players.
There could be more chapters here. The story, as observed by Block U, is a bit odd. Perhaps more details will come out.
Still, this isn't what coach Kyle Whittingham wants to read about with his football team, one that is expected to be ranked in the Top 25 and be in the thick of the Pac-12 South Division race.
5dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller