Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Trouble At Northern Colorado

GREELEY, Colo. -- A Northern Colorado fullback was arrested after a weekend fight outside an apartment complex, becoming the third UNC football player in five weeks to be accused in altercations.

Garrett Bliss, 21, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault early Sunday in Evans, a small town adjacent to Greeley. Police Sgt. Tracy Moore told the Greeley Tribune investigators believe Bliss was angry over text messages sent to his girlfriend's mobile phone, went to the apartment complex with friends and attacked a man he suspected of sending the messages.

Moore said Bliss was booked into the jail after he acknowledged to officers he had attacked the man. He was released on $7,500 bail. No court appearance had been set.

Bliss had no listed phone number. He did not immediately return a message left at his parents' home in Durango.

In a statement issued through the school, coach Scott Downing said other football players were present during the incident and their involvement was being investigated. Bliss has been suspended for one game, Downing said.

The victim's name and condition were not immediately released.

Last month, UNC backup punter Mitch Cozad was arrested on suspicion of stabbing rival Rafael Mendoza in the leg in a bid to win the starting job. The case drew nationwide attention and comparisons to the attack on Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan by Tonya Harding's hit man.

Mendoza has returned to the team. Prosecutors declined to charge Cozad but said they were still investigating.

Last week, defensive lineman and co-captain Jacob Carlson was cited for disorderly conduct after a fight outside a sports restaurant and bar. A police report indicated he was punched at a bar after telling a Latino man he didn't like Mexicans.

Carson, 23, of Greeley was suspended from the team and was awaiting surgery on the orbital bone around his left eye.

Bliss, a sophomore from Durango, started eight games last season but has played a backup role this year, appearing in four games. He spent the 2004 season as a redshirt at Wyoming.

UNC spokesman Kyle Schwartz said Monday the university was waiting for more information from police before taking action.

"We just don't know all the details yet," he said.

This certainly is an inauspicious start for the Bears, who have found themselves in the national press several times as a member of the Big Sky so far, none of which how they would like. These events should really put a strain on the Big Sky directors, given that they had the chance to add at the very least a quality North Dakota State program, and instead opted for UNC.


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