Story by Blake Sandlin, Assistant Sports Editor
Last season’s leading rusher on the Racers’ football team, sophomore Mareio McGraw, has been dismissed from the program following an off-campus incident that resulted in his arrest.
According to a press release from the Murray Police Department, authorities were alerted on Saturday, Aug. 26 of a robbery that had taken place the previous night. Victims stated that as they entered their car parked at an apartment on North 16th Street in Murray, a man confronted them with a revolver, demanding they empty their pockets. Victims said the man did not take any belongings, only cash.
After speaking with the victims, police identified the suspect as McGraw. Authorities later arrested McGraw in connection with the robbery, where he was sent to the Calloway County Jail on Saturday. The 19-year-old was charged with three counts of robbery in the first degree, a class B felony. McGraw is currently behind held under a $250,000 bond. The incident prompted the Murray State athletic department to take action.
“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and the legal process will take its course as it relates to this alleged incident,” Director of Athletics Allen Ward said in a statement. “However, based on the information we have been provided, we believe the matter warrants dismissing Mareio from the team for violating both department policy and team rules.”
Ward added the situation is ongoing, and the athletic department will deal with matters pertaining to the incident as information is obtained.
“As with all discipline and legal matters, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and evaluate additional information as it becomes available from local law enforcement who are handling the investigation,” Ward said.
Last season, McGraw led the Racers with 571 total rushing yards. With the addition of freshman running back D.J. Penick, McGraw was projected second in a deep rotation for the upcoming season, but was expected to see the field regularly in Head Coach Mitch Stewart’s system. Stewart said the loss of McGraw was an unfortunate event that will affect the whole team.
“We preach a lot about accountability and those things,” Stewart said. “Everybody, myself, these coaches and all of these coaches are all accountable for one another. When you leave this building or when you’re in this building, when you’re at practice or away from practice, we’re all accountable for one another, so when something happens it’s going to affect everybody, and it did.”
McGraw’s untimely departure prompted Stewart to insert freshman Nick Collins into the void as the Racer’s prepare for their season-opener at home on Thursday, Aug. 31 against Kentucky Wesleyan College.