Attorney for players maintains charges are unlikely

Updated: December 19, 2005, 8:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

AUSTIN, Texas -- A police investigation involving two Texas football players is not likely to lead to any charges, but the case remains open because a key witness has not yet been interviewed, a source participating in the investigation told ESPN's Joe Schad.

Starting defensive back Cedric Griffin and running back Ramonce Taylor have been questioned in connection with an alleged assault and robbery following a team banquet on Dec. 10.

No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.

On Sunday, Ken Oden, the attorney for the players, said in a prepared statement that he was told by police it is highly unlikely that Griffin and Taylor would face charges. Oden's statement did not say who told him the investigation was finished.

However, Kevin Buchman, a spokesperson for the Austin police department, said Monday night that the investigation is open and that warrants could still be filed if a detective finds probable cause.

Oden, reached by ESPN on Monday night, said he believes his statement to be "accurate and honest" but added that his information was a "preliminary determination" and police would "have the right to move forward in the future if such evidence is presented."

Police say they have not yet interviewed a key witness, so a final decision on charges could not yet have been made, the source told Schad. Every football player approached has granted interviews.

No. 2 Texas plays top-ranked Southern California in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4. School officials have said they've talked to the athletes being questioned and do not plan any action against them.

The source told Schad that investigators have set a deadline of the national championship game between USC and Texas on Jan. 4 to decide whether to press charges.

Meanwhile, police said Friday they were investigating two separate cases of assault and robbery in downtown Austin that involve members of the Texas athletic department -- the incident on Dec. 10 and another on Sept. 4, when police said a suspect pulled an automatic handgun and committed an aggravated assault.

Oden has said the Sept. 4 case does not relate to Griffin and Taylor. School officials have said they have found no link between its athletes and the September robbery.

School spokesman Nick Voinis said Monday their status with the team has not changed.

Taylor leads the Longhorns with 14 touchdowns with 501 yards rushing and 268 receiving. Griffin is fourth on the team in tackles with 78 and a team-high 15 passes broken up.

Also on Monday, it was revealed that sophomore wide receiver Myron Hardy, who is redshirting this season, was arrested in an unrelated Nov. 6 incident and charged with carrying a switchblade knife, a Class A misdemeanor.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. According to the arrest affidavit, Hardy was in a fistfight with two men and threatened them with the knife.

According to court documents, Hardy requested a court-appointed attorney and was released on $2,000 bond.

Neither the lawyer nor the player could be immediately reached for comment. Hardy had one catch for three yards in 2004.

Hardy reported the arrest to coaches the next day and "appropriate team discipline was taken," Voinis said without elaborating.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.