Bulls defensive back Lamar Robbins arrested on gun charges
Another USF football player has been arrested in connection with last weekend's gun-related incident on campus.
Bulls junior backup CB Lamar Robbins, 22, was arrested Thursday afternoon on charges of discharging a weapon on school property (a second-degree felony) and false information to a law-enforcement officer (a misdemeanor).
He remains in jail on $8,000 bond, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and has been suspended from all team activities.
Robbins' arrest is connected to USF backup OL Benjamin Knox's arrest early Sunday morning on charges of shooting at the exterior of a campus residence hall. According to an arrest report, a witness saw Robbins "raise (his) hand in the air, and then (the witness) immediately heard gunshots."
"It's incredibly disappointing, sad and scary," USF athletic director Mark Harlan told the Tampa Bay Times in a Friday evening interview from the Bulls' team hotel in Hartford, Conn., where USF faces Connecticut today.
"I think what you do in any athletic department is, you constantly try to educate young people about the decisions that they make and the effects they can have on their future. ... And then what you do is you just really hope that they make great decisions. When they don't, it's very sad."
USF Assistant Police Chief Chris Daniel said authorities believe Robbins and Knox shared a gun. Investigators served search warrants on Robbins' home and car, Daniel said, but found no weapon.
"We are drawing a conclusion that there was only one handgun between the two of them," he said.
"Our understanding is celebratory shots," Daniel said. Witnesses told investigators the pair were celebrating a win earlier Saturday over Syracuse University. He said police do not believe any other students were involved.
When Robbins was initially questioned by police, he lied about his involvement, according to Daniel. Investigators later collected statements from witnesses that placed him at the scene and led to the charges. Daniel said the arrest of Robbins came too long after the incident to know if alcohol played a role in the shooting. Police said it did not appear that alcohol was a factor when they arrested Knox.
Officers cannot prove that any shots Robbins fired hit the dorm building, Daniel said, so unlike Knox, he does not face a charge of shooting into an occupied dwelling.
Harlan said he learned Thursday evening of Robbins' arrest. On Friday, he said he feels Coach Willie Taggart has done a "really good job" of conveying to his players the importance of representing USF the right way.
"Ironically, even more so of late," Harlan said. "And after the (win) he was very clear with the guys to celebrate appropriately. ... He did some follow-up work that night. And again, it goes to my point that you can do and say, but at the end of the day people have to make decisions. And it would appear these two young men just made a horrible decision."
A starter toward the end of last season, Robbins, who hails from Miami, has appeared in four games this year, registering three tackles.
Former FSU/NFL linebacker Lamont Green, Robbins' coach at Miami's Southridge High, was stunned upon hearing the news, calling it "totally out of character."
He said Robbins, raised by a single parent, carried a 3.0 GPA at Southridge and started three seasons for the Spartans.
"Sometimes kids change when they get to college and that sort of thing," said Green, now an assistant at Florida Christian School in Miami. "I mean, Lamar is a flashy kid in terms of clothes and that kind of stuff, but as far as violence, never any trouble, never any suspensions, never any fistfights."