RB Ford cleared; LB Barrington remains in jail
Former USF running back Mike Ford, who was arrested in Sarasota in June on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery, has been cleared of those allegations after prosecutors declined to press charges.
Ford was accused of pushing and hitting Berneta Bean, 31, who described herself as an "on and off" girlfriend and mother to two children with him. He was scheduled for an arraignment last Thursday, but that hearing was cancelled on Aug. 9. Ford, who rushed for 207 yards in USF's victory over Northern Illinois in the International Bowl in January, was dismissed from the Bulls this spring for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Ford did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.
THURSDAY UPDATE: Talked to the state attorney's office in Sarasota on Thursday morning, and essentially there wasn't enough evidence to go forward with charges. Bean had no physical signs of injuries, other than a red mark on her arm she said was from Ford. She suggested an outside witness, but when he was interviewed, he said he only saw arguing outside the home and no actual battery. With a "he said, she said" conflict in testimony and no outside corroboration or physical evidence, prosecutors elected not to pursue charges.
-- USF sophomore linebacker Sam Barrington remains in county jail for a second night Wednesday, held without bond, and is scheduled for a court appearance on Thursday afternoon relating to a July arrest for driving with a suspended license. Barrington, who is expected to be the team's starting middle linebacker but has been slowed in preseason by a lingering shoulder injury, will not be able to return to Vero Beach, where USF is holding preseason drills. The Bulls leave for Tampa after a morning practice Thursday, and coach Skip Holtz addressed Barrington's situation after practice in an interview available on GoUSFbulls.com.
"This is a traffic violation that he hasn't handled very well," Holtz said. "I don't think Sam is a bad person. I don't think Sam has done anything malicious here."
Holtz said he'll find out more about Barrington's legal problems after he returns to Tampa. Barrington has been arrested three times in the last 13 months, all relating to missed court dates and traffic problems involving driving with a suspended license.