Five of Yale University’s varsity athletes were arrested in New Haven, Conn., early Sunday morning after allegedly breaking a window at the Gourmet Heaven convenience store during a fight. The students are said to have caused an estimated $3,500 worth of damages in their clash outside of the restaurant, whose night manager reported the incident to the New Haven Police Department.
The incident involved two varsity football players: Junior Matthew Polhemus and sophomore Michael McLeod. Polhemus is the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback and has led them to a 2-1 start to the 2006 season. He has thrown for 489 yards and rushed for 139 yards so far this year. Running back McLeod was last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The remaining three students were on the varsity hockey team. They were senior forward Bradley Mills, sophomore goalie Alec Richards and sophomore forward Matthew Nelson. Richards is a three-time winner of Eastern College Athletic Conference Hockey League Rookie of the Week and a two-time winner of Goalie of the Week.
The night manager of Gourmet Heaven, Mohamad Masaud, called 911 at 2 a.m. Sunday morning to report the fight between the students. All five players face charges of breach of the peace in the second degree, the Associated Press reported. McLeod, Mills, Richards and Nelson additionally face a charge of criminal mischief in the third degree. Yale University has said the school will not discipline the athletes until after the legal process has been completed.
“The investigation is in the hands of Yale University and the New Haven Police Department as they gather the facts associated with this incident,” Yale Director of Athletics Tom Beckett told The Yale Daily News. “At this time we are not able to make further comments.”
“I’m sure they’ll rectify the situation as best they can,” senior football captain Chandler Henley said in the Yale Daily News. “[But] this will serve as an eyeopener to our team.”
Both Polhemus and McLeod are expected to play in Yale’s game at Dartmouth this Saturday. Princeton’s football team makes its way to New Haven to play the Elis on Nov. 11.
The Yale hockey team has its first game on Oct. 27.
“The image of the Yale hockey team is important,” Yale men’s hockey coach Keith Allain said in the YDN. “Obviously, there are going to be consequences if these guys were doing things that they shouldn’t have been doing, but I think that to make any decisions now would be jumping the gun.”