Whalen embarrassed, but feels innocent

Updated: July 13, 2004, 8:32 AM ET
Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- Suspended Brigham Young University football players Marcus Whalen and Breyon Jones have appeared in court on charges alleging they assaulted and robbed an acquaintance.

Whalen, 22, of Waldorf, Md., and Jones, 21, of Round Rock, Texas, are charged with felony robbery, misdemeanor assault and making false statements at a preliminary hearing, also a misdemeanor.

They appeared Monday before 4th District Court Judge Lynn W. Davis, who scheduled another hearing for Aug. 11.

After the hearing, Whalen said he feels embarrassed.

"I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. "If I'd have just stayed home that night, I wouldn't be here."

However, he said he was not nervous about the case. "I still feel like I'm innocent," he said.

The charges relate to an alleged altercation on April 14 with Yussufu R. Nsabimana, 34, of Burundi.

He said he was attacked twice after he, Whalen, Jones and another acquaintance had been drinking at a Provo bar and the men argued, and that $125 was stolen from him.

Whalen and Jones were both suspended by BYU until January 2005 for violations of the school's honor code, which, among other things, prohibits consumption of alcohol.

Whalen's suspension appears to end his college football career, as his eligibility expires at the end of the next football season.

Whalen led BYU in rushing in 2002 when he ran for 918 yards. He gained just 152 yards last season after he broke his foot during warm-ups before the season-opener.

Jones red-shirted in 2001 and saw limited action as a reserve receiver the past two seasons.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press