Vanderbilt player arrested on felony charge

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
4:44
PM ET
This is not the kind of culture change first-year Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was talking about.

Sophomore safety Andre Simmons has been indefinitely suspended from the team after being charged with felony counts of robbery and burglary.

According to a Davidson County affidavit, and reported in The Tennessean newspaper, two black males -- one armed with a handgun -- entered Lupton Hall on Tuesday and took $5,000 from a safe in the room of Zachary Abelman, a sophomore forward on the school’s club ice hockey team. A fight broke out, and Abelman was struck in the head with the gun. One suspect ran out with the money while Simmons, 19, stayed behind to keep Abelman in the room. Once Simmons left, he was chased by Abelman and others to the Terrace Place Garage. Metro police were called and took Simmons into custody there.

The Commodores, one win away from qualifying for a bowl game, travel to Tennessee this Saturday.

Only rarely over the years has Vanderbilt had to deal with players being arrested and getting into trouble off the field.

Simmons had only played in one game this season and did so on special teams. Still, you know this is the last thing Franklin wanted to go down the week of such a big game.

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