Chicago Sun-Times

Rookie offensive lineman Lance Louis charged with assault

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An incident that the San Diego State University football team thought might go away didn't, and it's caught up to Bears rookie offensive lineman Lance Louis.

He has been charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from a fight with a college teammate last season, one that ex-Aztecs football coach Chuck Long did not report to authorities for more than two weeks. Louis was accused of assaulting safety Nick Sandford in a meeting room while Sandford was watching film.

According to Paul Sandford, the player's father, Louis approached from behind and attacked Nick Sandford. He reportedly suffered a fractured cheekbone, concussion and broken eardrum. Sandford had poked Louis with a stick earlier in the day in the locker room. Louis played the remainder of the season without any known punishment from Long. Sandford is a senior starter for the Aztecs this season.

Louis will be arraigned on Oct. 23 but is not required to attend. The charge is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The Bears have maintained that they were aware of the incident before they drafted the guard in the seventh round. Louis has declined to speak on the matter, which spilled out in August during training camp.

"We think it was a felony,'' Paul Sandford said this evening. "We really don't have any reason to see why this isn't a felony. They've done what they've done in terms if what they have charged him with and we're not the district attorney or the city attorney so there's not much we can do about it."

Paul Sandford said that civil action by his son against Louis remains an option.

"We've considered it,'' he said. "I'm not sure what is going to happen in that regard. What he's trying to do right now is play football.''

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11 Comments

Hey Brad, here's one for you......Where do the Bears WR's rank in height? I'm willing to bet that the active wide receivers on the Bears roster are, if not the shortest, near the shortest in the league. Hester is listed at 5'11", Bennett is 6', Knox is 6', and Rasheed Davis is 5'9". I bet you won't find a shorter WR group in the league. I guess with Greg Olsen (6'5"), Kellen Davis (6'7"), and Dez Clark (6'3"), you might not need much height from your WRs especially near the goalline. Let's hope Devin Aromashodu (6'2") gets some action this year.

This is crap. Why did we draft this guy knowing what he did? That doesn't seem like something the Bears do. I would like to hear Lance's side of things though.

What a mess. Look, we all accept that football is a violent game, and that the men who play it are slightly "off" because of it, but this is crossing a line in my opinion. A guy pokes you with a stick, and you break most of his face? Certainly not the type of behavior you would want out of a guy who you are paying several hundred thousand dollars to.

Brad,
Can Goodell suspend him for this charge if convicted? Since it (the incident) happened prior to him entering the draft, I was not sure if the conduct policy would apply. I would expect the Players Union to back him up and push for it not to result in a suspension.

While we are on the subject of Louis, has the team given any indication of what his eventual position would be? Seems like they put him in at left tackle in the preseason, but he doesn't seem to have the body type for a tackle. He is too short, and may not have the long arms that you need to protect the edge. I would expect maybe RG? Garza does a lot of pulling in this offense, and Louis is exceptional when it comes to quickness. Seems like a natural fit for him.

BFD.

Charging him, or anybody, with a year old misdemeanor from college has got to be somebody crusading about something. It's not like they just found out about it.

I'd rather he not continue to beat up teammates, but O-linemen with a mean streak are exactly what the Bears need. He's a little short, but you could see in preseason that this guy is quick and strong with good feet. We don't know yet if he can transition from the 4th quarter of preseason to the first quarter, but he is a good looking prospect.

It would be different if he had done something recent.

Tripper were you doing a Bing commercial?

We'll see how it plays out in court. And why the heck would anyone poke someone with a stick?

Just cut this guy already, don't need this in our locker room.

Brad does this mean Louis won't play this seaon? I would like to see him push Pace for his job or maybe takeover at LT becuse Pace isn't cutting it.

Yeah go ahead and cut him.... And while were at it we might as well cut Olin Kruetz also. Yeah, cut Kruetz and push the DA to press felony charges against him for breaking former team-mate, Fred Miller's jaw at the shooting range a few years back.

Get over it people !!

Players fight each other, from highschool, college to pro they all get into fights. Standfords father said it was from behind but only the players/coachers in the screening room know exactly what happened, what was said, how it escalated ect... You have to expect the guy's Dad would take his sons version as fact.

Let this play out in court if need be before we throw a rookie under the bus. For all we know Standford was picking on Louis for a while and he finaly snapped. It happens all the time. Didn't Steve Smith beat up a former teammate in practice last season breaking his jaw ??


Go Bears !!

Cut him?

This will be resolved by Thanksgiving.

He's not going to jail. It's a misdemeanor.

With a good lawyer -- which he can now afford -- he will be able to plea down to a fine and community service.

And at worse, should he get a sentence, he would have to do time during the offseason -- all two weeks of it.

No DA is going to waste their time trying to prosecute someone for a sports fight.

It's a minor issue, and hardly one that is going to cause a distraction for the team.

He's the eighth lineman for crying out loud. Half the team probably hasn't had a two minute conversation with him.

I don't know if you can call beating up someone who is half a foot shorter and 100 lbs lighter a fight but it is what it is. Nick's dad is upset and isn't going to let it die. I don't know what he's looking for because he didn't even want Louis to even play in the NFL. Can't be about money because he would've gotten much less if Louis was a bagger at the Piggly Wiggly. Part of it looks like he's a dad who's angry his son got beat up and another part is he seems to think that it ruined his son's chances in the NFL.

Louis is lucky. The allegations here are not of a misdemeanor, but of a felony. After asking another California lawyer why he thought only a misdemeanor was charged, we both came to the conclusion that it's because he's an NFL player. If you or I were accused of this, we'd be charged with a felony.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 13, 2009 8:34 PM.

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