CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — A University of Arkansas football player was suspended ahead of the Belk Bowl in Charlotte after police said he attempted to shoplift during the team’s shopping spree in SouthPark.
Senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was suspended from the game, according to an announcement before Thursday night’s Belk Bowl. According to the team, Sprinkle, the coaches, and his teammates knew several days before the game.
“Jeremy’s suspension has been known by our staff and players for several days so we’ve had a chance to prepare our game plan accordingly,” head coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. “Throughout his career and this season as a graduate student-athlete, Jeremy has displayed numerous times the qualities we want to represent our program. We have standards within our family that must be upheld on a daily basis and unfortunately he failed to do that in the last week.”
Bielema continued that Sprinkle’s suspension wasn’t “drug, alcohol or violence related but one that will cause him to miss his final game as a Razorback.”
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, a man named Jeremy Cole Sprinkle was cited for unlawful concealment Tuesday evening. The incident occurred at the Belk store at SouthPark Mall.
The incident happened on the same day the Arkansas Razorbacks and Virginia Tech Hokies were enjoying shopping sprees at the store as part of the Belk Bowl festivities.
According to media reports, each team had 90 minutes to spend a $450 gift card at Belk on anything in the store. The players also each received a Fossil watch.
Police reports indicate Sprinkle attempted to steal $230.29 in merchandise from the store. The items included four shirts, two wallets, socks, and boxers.
According to the report, Sprinkle tried to hide the items in one of his shopping bags. He was cited at the scene.