Epps’ girlfriend told police that he struck her in the face during an argument, an accusation that Epps denies, according to the source. Epps has not been arrested or charged.
When Vandals coach Paul Petrino was informed of the allegation Monday morning, he immediately suspended Epps, who has recorded a team-high 61 catches for 762 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Petrino has a longstanding rule of not tolerating domestic violence, according to the source. “Paul’s very disappointed and very angry to have given Dezmon second chances,” the source says. “He’s told his team over and over, you do not lay your hand on a woman.”
This isn’t the first time the troubled Epps has had off-field problems. The 5-10, 175-pound redshirt senior pled guilty to a DUI in June 2014 and was dismissed from the team a month later after he was charged with misdemeanor theft. Epps didn’t play last season but was reinstated to the team this past spring. In June, he was charged with driving-related misdemeanors. Two months later, he and teammates were involved in the theft of $285 of merchandise from the campus bookstore. He was suspended for the Vandals’ 59-9 loss at USC on Sept. 12.
Epps had been attending counseling sessions at least once a week according to the source. “Paul really thought he was changing,” the source says.
Idaho has a 3-4 record this season and a two-game winning streak for the first time since the 2009-10 seasons. This marks the first time since 2010 that the Vandals have won three games in a season.