Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor.
Zeke Pike, a Murray State student and now a former Racers wide receiver, arrived this summer after spending a year each at the University of Louisville and Auburn.
At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Pike was a five-star recruit out of Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Ky. Scout.com named him the No. 1 quarterback in Kentucky in the 2012 recruiting class. He was also ranked No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the nation by 247sports.com.
At approximately 11:53 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, Pike was pulled over for initially driving through a stoplight at Lowes Drive and North 16th Street and at 12:06 a.m. Pike was arrested.
Pike was arrested on eight charges and by Tuesday afternoon Pike was released from the Racers football team.
This isn’t Pike’s first offense. In high school Pike battled some issues; he was asked to leave a 7-on-7 summer camp for throwing a football at an official, according to al.com and was suspended for his final game senior year for undisclosed reasons, according to kentuckysports.com.
With offers from 28 schools, Pike made an early decision in April 2011 to commit to Auburn. After spring practice and only being on campus for six months, Pike was arrested for public intoxication.
He returned to his Kentucky home and enrolled in the University of Louisville in August 2012. After sitting out because of NCAA rules, Pike played briefly in the 2013 season seeing action in seven games and recording one catch for four yards.
In March 2014, Pike was arrested again for an alcohol-related charge.
After signing with the Murray State Racers during the summer, Head Coach Mitch Stewart said in an interview that he was looking to give Pike another chance.
After spending a few months with the Racers – before the first game of the season – Pike found himself in jail again.
According to the police report written by the arresting officer, Pike had an open Bud Light within his reach when he was asked to step out of a gray Honda Accord when pulled over Sunday night.
The report says Pike smelled of alcohol and marijuana. Pike stated to the officer that he had a marijuana pipe in his right shorts pocket but that it didn’t belong to him. Pike was escorted to Murray-Calloway County Hospital, but Pike escaped the officer’s custody and fled 350 yards on foot before being apprehended and stunned because of noncompliance. Pike refused blood tests.
Stewart released Pike from the football team earlier this week and said Pike needs to work on himself and not have the distraction of football.
Stewart said anytime there is an incident like the one related to Pike, the athletic office suspends the athlete pending their investigation.
“As an athletic office, in order to be fair we have to treat everyone differently. As funny as that sounds, in certain instances and some people come in with a lot of baggage and some people don’t have any baggage,” Stewart said. “And when they come in with prior incidences we have to be a lot more strict with a true freshman who has never been arrested in his life. For the most part we suspend them pending results and we make a decision that is, one, based on what’s best for team, in our case it is football and, two, we have to think about what’s best for that individual.”
On Monday morning, just 13 minutes after being pulled over, Pike was arrested with eight charges including disregarding a stoplight, failing to properly signal, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs, resisting arrest, escaping custody in the second degree and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.
Pike’s attorney, Ricky Lamkin, said while Pike might have been charged with eight offenses, that doesn’t mean he’s guilty.
“I’ve met with him a few times,” Lamkin said. “He loves Murray State more than any school he’s attended; he loves the football program and is really engaged. He loved being a part of the team. He is going to do his very best to work his way back into the graces of the athletic department because of his sincere desire to continue with the team he loves.”
Lamkin will represent Pike in court on Sept. 2.