Yes, you read that headline correctly. Three UCLA football players – incoming recruits enrolled in summer classes – were arrested last week for stealing a woman’s purse. The purse was stolen out of a storage locker at the Hendrick Hall dormitory last Wednesday.
After an investigation Josh Shirley, Paul Richardson and Shaquille Richardson were all arrested and face felony theft charges. All three players were booked at a county jail and released Thursday morning. Paul and Shaquille Richardson were both released on $20,000 bail, while Shirley was released without bail.
My first response to this story was “You have got to be freaking kidding me.” These are three 18-year-old kids and I’m sure they just made a mistake, but they’re on scholarship at UCLA, are they really so low on cash that they need to snag a purse?
I don’t think people adequately understand how much free crap you get when you are a scholarship athlete. Aside from free room and board, you also get free food and lots of free clothing. I mean, come on guys, really?
And how dare you drag the good name of head coach Rick Neuheisel through the mud! That guy is a model of running clean – OK, OK, I have to stop. It’s impossible to say that with a straight face.
Shirley is a four-star recruit and was the No. 9 outside linebacker and No. 137 overall player in the country according to Rivals.com. Meanwhile Paul Richardson was also a four-star recruit and the No. 38 ranked receiver in the nation, while Shaquille Richardson was a three-star and the No. 30 ranked cornerback.
Because they are athletes I have a feeling these guys will get these charges lowered and receive some sort of probation and community service. Given Neuheisel’s track record, I can see him suspending them for maybe two games, despite the fact that they are all candidates for redshirts.
So basically I don’t think they will face any punishment from a football perspective.