Rutgers football player pleads not guilty to assault charge
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Rutgers receiver Leonte Carroo has pleaded not guilty to a domestic violence-related assault charge after authorities say he slammed a woman onto concrete after a football game.
Piscataway Municipal Court records show that Carroo's lawyer entered the plea by fax and waived his client's first court appearance. Carroo is due in court on Oct. 1, and the Edison resident remains on indefinite suspension from the football team.
Carroo was ''known to date'' the victim, authorities have said. He remains free on $1,000 bail.
Carroo allegedly picked up the woman and slammed her down onto concrete, injuring her left hip, both palms, her left elbow and the left side of her head. The confrontation occurred outside the team's training facility, the Hale Center, after Rutgers' loss to Washington State on Saturday, authorities have said.
The arrest of the senior captain is the latest stain on a program that has seen six other players kicked off the team this month after being arrested on charges that include armed robbery and home-invasion burglary and rioting. One of the former players was also charged in two home-invasion robberies.
Before those arrests, Rutgers began investigating coach Kyle Flood for possible improper contact with a teacher about a player's grade.
Over the last decade, Rutgers has been trying to build up its major sports programs, something some in the university see as a way to improve the prestige of the New Jersey's flagship state university. The university absorbed two medical schools in 2013 as part of a higher-education restructuring in New Jersey designed largely to make Rutgers into a biomedical research powerhouse.
The football team, which had been to one bowl game in its history before 2005, has played in them following nine of the last 10 seasons.
Rutgers teams began playing last year in the Big Ten, one of the nation's highest-profile athletic conferences.
Athletic Director Julie Hermann has said she recently spoke to the team about personal accountability and has expressed her ''unwavering support'' for the program.