Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Louisville player dismissed from team following arrest

By Ellen R. Stapleton
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville reserve guard Bryant Northern was dismissed from the basketball team Monday after his arrest on theft and forgery charges.

The 6-foot, 175-pound senior admitted to police Sunday that he stole two blank checks from a home he was visiting and tried to cash them for more than $3,000, according to the arrest citation.

Northern played in 31 games last season as a junior, averaging 3.2 points and 1.1 rebounds. He had earned a scholarship following his sophomore year after playing his first two seasons as a walk-on.

Coach Rick Pitino said in a statement the dismissal was effective immediately.

"We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors, but he will no longer be a part of this team," Pitino said.

Indian Hills Police Chief Kelly Spratt said Northern was arrested Sunday morning after voluntarily meeting with police.

Spratt said Northern removed the two checks from a residence where a friend was house-sitting July 5, forged the signature of the checks' owner and tried to cash the checks totaling $3,180 payable to another suspect. The pair took the checks to at least three different banks but were unsuccessful in cashing them, he said.

Police said they plan to arrest another man but have not located him. Investigators don't believe the house sitter was involved in the crime, Spratt said.

Northern was charged with forgery, theft by unlawful taking and theft by unlawful taking with criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to the arrest citation.

He was released from the Jefferson County Jail after posting a $250 cash bond. Arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday in Jefferson District Court.

Northern is a graduate of Jeffersonville (Ind.) High School. A woman who answered the telephone at his home said there would be no comment.

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