Wednesday, January 7, 2004 Updated: January 10, 1:32 AM ET
QB played in bowl game
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Although Arizona authorities aren't
pressing sexual assault charges against Kansas State quarterback
Ell Roberson over an incident prior to last week's Fiesta Bowl,
coach Bill Snyder has stripped him of his scholarship for the
spring semester and said he won't receive a ring for his
participation in the game.
The coach, in a two-page open letter released Thursday,
apologized to Kansas State fans and said that Roberson and other
players he did not identify were being punished for violating
unspecified team rules.
Earlier Thursday, the Maricopa County Attorney's office
announced in Phoenix that Roberson would not be charged with any
offense involving the 22-year-old woman who said the senior
quarterback sexually assaulted her early on New Year's Day at the team's
Roberson, who is from Baytown, Texas, acknowledged
having sex with the woman but said it was consensual. In his
hand-written statement to police, he said the woman never said
"no" or "wait" and that he would have stopped if she had.
In a news release, the county attorney's office said "the only
issue in the case was of consent."
"It was the unanimous decision of the bureau that Mr. Roberson
could not have known the complainant did not consent," the
statement said. "Therefore, given the set of facts and statements
submitted in the report, there is no crime committed under Arizona
Maricopa County Attorney spokesman Bill FitzGerald declined to
In addition to losing scholarships and not getting a Fiesta Bowl
ring, Roberson and the other players will also be required to do
community service by talking to youth groups, Snyder's statement
said. The coach put the value of a semester's scholarship aid at
While the statement did not specify what rules had been
violated, or say how many players besides Roberson were being
punished, the sexual activity that Roberson acknowledged was
reported to have taken place about 3:30 a.m., well after the team's
11 p.m. curfew.
In his letter, Snyder said, "I cannot adequately convey to you
how badly I feel for those within the Wildcat family who, through
their allegiance to our university and athletic program, are
"A day has not gone by that I have not prayed that the Lord
would ease the pain for our players, coaches, staff, the athletic
department, the university faculty, student body, and
administration, and the remarkable K-State fan base throughout the
county. The accusation that was falsely made in this incident will
live within each of use for a long time to come."
In the letter, Snyder reiterated concerns raised by athletic
director Tim Weiser that police shouldn't have released Roberson's
name because no charges had been filed.
"It is unfortunate that this damaging information was released
prior to a thorough and complete investigation, which ultimately
concluded there was no validity to the allegations of sexual
assault or sexual abuse," Snyder said. "The fact that the initial
charges were found to be erroneous in many cases will fall on deaf
Ohio State beat Kansas State 35-28 in the Fiesta Bowl.