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.''