Colts general manager Chris Ballard said drafting Okereke was "appropriate considering he had never been charged or disciplined by the university."

By Michael Shapiro
June 05, 2019

Colts general manager Chris Ballard said on Wednesday that he was aware of a sexual assault claim against linebacker Bobby Okereke before drafting the Stanford product in the 2019 NFL draft. 

Okereke spoke to Ballard at the 2019 combine and revealed he was the subject of a New York Times investigation regarding sexual assault on Stanford's campus in 2015, according to ESPN's Mike Wells. Three members of the five-person university panel concluded Okereke committed sexual assault, but the ruling didn't cross the 4-1 threshold necessary to pursue further punitive action. 

Okereke stayed on Stanford's roster following the board's ruling and played four years with the Cardinal. 

"When we looked at it and talked about it and talking to the young man, an incident from four years ago, no discipline by the university [and] he was never charged with a crime," Ballard told Wells. "And then you look at his track record from that point to now. Team captain. Lott Trophy quarterfinalist. He graduated with a degree in management and engineering. He's working on his master's. From 2015 to 2019, from everything we gathered and high recommendations that we got, it felt appropriate to take him."

Ballard selected Okereke in the third round of the 2019 draft. Okereke tallied 227 tackles in four seasons with Stanford along with 10.5 sacks. 

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