The recent arrest of Arkansas-Pine Bluff football running back Jeremiah Young has opened up questions about his future with the team.
Young, 19, who completed his true freshman season with the Golden Lions this past fall, was released Wednesday afternoon from the Adult Detention Center on $25,000 bond after a Pine Bluff district judge ruled that prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with sexual indecency with a minor and video voyeurism. He has not yet been formally charged.
Asked about Young’s status with the team, UAPB coach Monte Coleman said: “I don’t have any comment at this time. … I haven’t made a decision with his status on the team.”
Asked if he had gathered any facts about Young’s arrest, Coleman said: “He was incarcerated, and that’s all I know.” Coleman added Young is still enrolled at UAPB.
Young was booked into the center Monday night. According to a brief in Thursday’s Commercial, Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said the incident occurred last Friday when a 14-year-old girl allegedly had sexual contact with Young and another male. Young allegedly recorded the incident despite the girl saying that she didn’t want it recorded, Pugh said during the court hearing.
Attempts to obtain comment from Young’s mother, Cheryl Kates, were unsuccessful as of Thursday afternoon.
The running back’s legal troubles comes as bad news for the Golden Lions about two weeks before their spring drills are scheduled to begin. He was the second-leading rusher on the team last season, finishing with 554 yards and seven touchdowns on 106 carries.
Young was part of a true freshman group that accounted for a majority of the Lions’ carries last season, including Jamie Smith and Draylon Willis. Young led all running backs in rushing yards on the team, as quarterback Ben Anderson netted a team-high 824 yards.
Young was a prized recruit out of Dollarway High, where he had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and led the Cardinals to the 4A state semifinals in 2011. He was offered a scholarship to UAPB, but missed the deadline to formally commit to the Lions in hopes of receiving a better offer elsewhere. Young did not and elected to join UAPB as a walk-on.
Rivals.com ranked Young as a two-star athlete who was considering attending Arkansas and Arkansas State. He said in September he didn’t hear much from those two schools after they changed head coaches; Bret Bielema was hired at Arkansas in December 2012, the same month Arkansas State named now-Boise State coach Bryan Harsin its head man.
Where is the season schedule?
Three weeks into March, the Golden Lions’ 2014 season schedule still has not been released.
Coleman said he has 11 opponents lined up with the possibility of losing one of them. He confirmed UAPB will begin the season Aug. 30 at Sun Belt Conference member Texas State, but would not indicate who the other nonconference opponent is.
“We’re trying to find a game,” Coleman said. “There is a possibility we could lose a game out of the 11 (opponents). I’m trying to be proactive.”
Football Championship Subdivision teams such as UAPB are allowed to play as many as 12 during the regular season.