South Alabama has finished it’s second spring practice heading into this second season of football but it didn’t take long for their instance of a player having a run in with the police.
Starting Safety Zach Brownell was arrested Thursday morning on 24 charges. The 19-year old player damaged 22 vehicles in the Delta parking lot on campus. The charges break down into 22 counts of criminal mischief, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
According to campus police, Brownell was drinking when he pulled or broke off mirrors from the vehicles in the parking lot. They also said that “three or four” vehicles had broken windows. They described the damage done as “small-time vandalism to each car,” for the most part.
Brownell even damaged a vehicle of Chris Pugh, a teammate of his. Norm Gamache said university police were called to the Delta parking lot after 3am on a report of someone damaging vehicles where they arrested Brownell.
South Alabama Athletic Director Dr. Joel Erdmann said, “I think all of our programs and all of our coaches and the entire department is very centered on basic principles of tremendous citizenship and graduation and competing to the best of our ability. All of our student athletes and everybody in our department is very sensitive to that and so we do examine things like this very deeply and take it very seriously.”
Keith Ayers said that Brownell would not be suspended from classes. In an incident like this he is subject to a nonacademic conduct review. If the crime committed is bad enough, then the student could be subject to dismissal from the university.
Brownell is a native of Prattville, Alabama and started all seven games at Safety in the inaugural season for South Alabama. He led the team with five interceptions and was second on the team with 27 tackles. While in high school, Brownell played on three state championship teams and partcipated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Brownell was placed in the Mobile Metro jail and released on Thursday afternoon on a $17,000 bail.
Brownell has been indefinitely suspended from the team pending an investigation.
The Jaguar Football team was presented with their rings recently. They commemorated the school going undefeated in its inaugural season. They are diamond encrusted with the familiar Jaguar sports logo, their record and the players name, number and position.
Chris Pugh, a player from my hometown, graciously gave Thunderjags.com permission to post the photos of his ring on our website.
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