Hezekiah Williamson, a former Castleton University football player, will be staying at the university following a disciplinary hearing last week, according to Jeff Weld, Castleton’s director of Communications and Marketing.
The hearing was a result of an Oct. 16 incident on campus in which Williamson was arrested and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct.
“I felt relieved. He still has a chance for his academics,” Williamson’s mother, Alexis, was quoted as saying in an Oct. 29 Rutland Herald article. “It was a gift.”
Calls and text messages to Hezekiah and a call to Alexis for comments on the hearing went unreturned.
Williamson, at the hearing, was found to have violated three policies from the student handbook, involving disorderly acts, interference with officers of the University and use of physical means, according to Weld.
Dean of Students Dennis Proulx helped define Castleton’s student conduct policy and the All-University hearing process, without offering specifics on this case.
“An All-University hearing is three perspectives. It is made of a student (appointed by college court), an administrator and a faculty member,” Proulx said. “There are three equal votes and the majority rules on what is being charged.”
“Conduct at its purest sense, is a conversation to say ‘I think you screwed up, tell me if you agree. If we agree, then this is how you make restitution, or because of your conduct, if you have these issues that are getting in your way and are getting in your way as a successful academic, then let’s put these sanctions in place so that you can figure that out,’” Proulx said.
According to Alexis Williamson in the Rutland Herald article, her son is allowed to stay at Castleton, but he is on university probation for two years, must attend alcohol counseling and must meet with Proulx weekly.
Williamson was released from the football team on Sept. 27 and on Oct. 13 the NAACP contacted the university with concern about the reasoning behind his dismissal. Williamson told the NAACP he felt discriminated against.
“They kicked me off the team and they didn’t tell me why. That’s the thing,” Williamson said in a previous interview with The Spartan.
While current football players are prevented from speaking on the issue, former players quickly came to the defense of head coach Tony Volpone. One believes Williamson was simply upset he wasn’t playing and looking for someone to blame.
On the night of his arrest, Williamson said he was at a party in North House, an on-campus dorm. He then walked back to his dorm with two rugby players who called Public Safety because they thought he needed medical assistance, according to the Herald article.
In a previous interview, Williamson told The Spartan he only had “two shots” and was “just tipsy.”
Williamson in a previous interview said six Public Safety officers subdued him in the dorm before police arrived. Williamson was charged with disorderly conduct and simple assault for assaulting “at least three” of those Public Safety officers, Castleton Police Chief Peter Mantello said in a previous interview with The Spartan.
“We didn’t have any trouble with him, he was very compliant,” Mantello said in the Herald article.
Calls to Mantello for comment on the status of the charges were not returned by press time.
Williamson still awaits a court date on the charges, according to a clerk with the Rutland County District Court.