Ikegwuonu faces charges after weekend arrest

Updated: November 30, 2006, 6:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DeKALB, Ill. -- Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu and his twin brother, who plays for Northern Illinois, are accused of breaking into an off-campus apartment and trying to steal an Xbox game console, authorities said Thursday.

Ikegwuonu and Northern Illinois safety William Ikegwuonu face residential burglary and criminal trespass charges, authorities said. The 20-year-olds were arrested Saturday, according to DeKalb police Lt. Jim Kayes.

The felony charge of residential burglary carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

"But the odds of that happening, unless they've got some bad criminal history, is probably zero," Kayes told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "What will probably happen is it will get dealt down."

The criminal trespass charge is a misdemeanor, Kayes said.

Jack Ikegwuonu was released Monday from the DeKalb County Jail on $150,000 bond. William Ikegwuonu posted a $50,000 bond Tuesday, said DeKalb County Sheriff's Lt. Joyce Klein.

The two men were represented by the DeKalb public defender's office for the bond hearing but have since obtained private attorneys, according to public defender Kenneth Johnson.

"I'm confident in their innocence," Johnson said Thursday. "When all the facts come to light, I'm sure they will be found not guilty."

Wisconsin is scheduled to appear in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla. Jack Ikegwuonu was a first-team All-Big Ten Conference pick this season. He started all 12 games and led the Badgers with 11 passes defended.

"We are currently gathering and reviewing the facts of the incident to determine our course of action, which may or may not include suspension under the terms of our student-athlete discipline policy," said a Thursday statement from the Wisconsin athletics department.

According to the Journal Sentinel, under Wisconsin's revised student-athlete discipline policy -- which states that a student-athlete will be suspended for being arrested or charged with a variety of crimes, including "felony theft or felony criminal damage to property" -- he will likely be suspended.

Northern Illinois spokeswoman Donna Turner said Thursday that Huskies head coach Joe Novak had indefinitely suspended William Ikegwuonu, who has not played in any games this season.

The Huskies are to play TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 19.

William Ikegwuonu is due back in court for Dec. 8 hearing, while Jack Ikegwuonu's next hearing is set for Jan. 17.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.