St. Francis removes 3 athletes from school

LORETTO – At least three St. Francis University student athletes involved in an early Sunday morning fight have been removed from the campus pending judicial review, university officials confirmed Monday.

State police at Ebensburg said the 2 a.m. fight outside an off-campus, university-owned apartment at 235 St. Joseph’s St., Loretto, involved five students – three football players and two soccer players.

The five student athletes were singled out as the active participants in the physical altercation. About 100 students were at the scene when police arrived, said Marie Young, university spokeswoman.

University officials would not release the students’ names but said three of the individuals were sent home from the university and are not currently attending classes as part of the judicial review process.

“It’s definitely something that we take very seriously, which is why we’re conducting the judicial reviews today,” Young said Monday. “We expect our students to have a certain code of ethics.”

Two students were taken to Altoona Regional for injuries suffered in the fight but have been released, Young said.

Young did not specify which athletes were treated at the hospital and which athletes were sent home from the university.

The individuals’ statuses on their respective athletic teams are also in question and will be examined during their judicial reviews, Young said.

St. Francis athletics officials and head coaches from the football and soccer programs did not return calls for comment Monday.

University police officials referred all questions regarding the incident to university relations officials.

As of Monday afternoon, no criminal charges had been filed as a result of the fight, Young said.

State and university police responded to the incident Sunday morning, Young said. State police have jurisdiction in the borough and are handling the ongoing investigation, Young said.

Loretto Borough Police were not on duty during the time of the incident, Cambria 911 officials said.

Sunday’s fight marked the second time in three months in which a St. Francis student athlete has faced disciplinary action for off-the-field conduct.

Kalil Wynn, 18, of Edison, N.J., was arraigned on felony rape charges in December after allegations emerged of an alleged sexual assault Nov. 11 at a Nittany Pointe apartment near Penn State Altoona.

A 19-year-old female student told police she was raped by Wynn, a St. Francis football player, in her apartment.

Wynn, an 18-year-old freshman defensive back, told police the sex was consensual. He remains free on $50,000 unsecured bond and is expected to appear in Blair County Court in March.

The two incidents are indicative of a smaller university growing in size and experiencing the “growing pains” of an expanded student population, Young said.

University officials and police are in the process of speaking with students involved in Sunday’s incident to determine the cause of the conflict, Young said.

The student athletes’ eligibility and any university-sanctioned punishments will hinge largely on the findings of state police, Young said.

Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.