U of Illinois football players arrested in alleged robbery

U of Illinois football players arrested in alleged robbery

Three football players at the University of IL have been arrested and are expected to be charged in connection with an alleged robbery at a school residence hall on Wednesday morning. Lee was booked at 6:27 a.m. CT Wednesday, Holcombe at 10:22 a.m., and Watkins at 10:58 a.m. Along with fellow IL football players Darta Lee and Zarrian Holcombe, Watkins has an arraignment scheduled for Thursday afternoon. They will be formally arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

"Three individuals entered an apartment masked and the victim recognized one of them by voice", Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer said. When the victim pulled one mask off, one suspect pulled out what apparently was a fake gun and demanded cash.

"Howard Watkins has been suspended indefinitely from team activities", head coach Lovie Smith said in a press release.

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The players left the dorm with an undisclosed amount of money. "We continue to gather information and will take appropriate steps based upon what we learn".

Earlier today, Champaign News-Gazette reported that three players from the Illini football team had been taken in to custody. He notes that two of the players involved, Lee and Holcombe, had already been suspended from the team before the arrest.

Both Lee and Holcombe were freshman last season for the Illini, playing in six and seven games respectively. Court records also show Zarrian Holcombe, 19, and Howard, aka Hojo, Watkins are also facing preliminary charges of home invasion and armed robbery.

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