Suspensions for all four are indefinite

Updated: November 15, 2004, 10:21 PM ET
Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- An Oregon State football player charged with assault was suspended by coach Mike Riley on Monday for violating team policy, as were three of his teammates.

Joseph Rudulph, 19, a freshman from Sacramento, Calif., was arrested Friday after a confrontation with an Oregon National Guard solider at the Headline Cafe in Corvallis.

Teammates Anthony Wheat-Brown, Whitfield Usher and Ryan Rainwater were at the restaurant, but have not been arrested, police said. The university, in a statement, said the suspensions for all four were for an indefinite period of time.

The alleged incident happened as Staff Sgt. Gabriel Sapp was dancing with his wife. The couple was allegedly approached by a group of black men, identified as Oregon State football players.

The men began making comments to Sapp's wife, who is also black, about her relationship with her husband, who is white, Corvallis police said.

Witnesses said Rudulph then punched Sapp in the face, knocking him to the ground. Sapp, who was celebrating his last night of leave, is back in Iraq.

Rudulph faces assault, harassment and disorderly conduct charges.

The suspensions come as the Beavers prepare for their Civil War matchup with Oregon. A bowl berth is on the line for the 5-5 teams.

Wheat-Brown, a redshirt-freshman receiver from Compton, Calif., has started eight games and is third on the team in receptions with 33. He caught 11 passes in Saturday's 24-19 win over Stanford.

Rudulph, a reserve defensive end, has appeared in nine games this season. Usher and Rainwater have not played this season.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press