Star Castleton football players facing charges for theft of sporting goods
Castleton State College's All-American star receiver, Brandon Boyle, and up-and-coming quarterback, George Busharis, were arrested on Sept. 10 after admitting to Vermont State Police to stealing merchandise from Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland on multiple occasions throughout the past weeks, according to a state police press release.
The two, along with four other yet unnamed players, have been suspended from the team indefinitely for their alleged roles in the thefts.
"State Police responded to Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland Town after State Police learned that a Dick's Sporting Goods employee was believed to be aiding a customer with theft of merchandise," the release read.
According to incident records, Trooper Jason Johnson responded to the scene at approximately 7 p.m., when Busharis was seen exiting Dick's with two bags.
Johnson approached Busharis and proceeded to question him about the merchandise in his bags. Busharis then produced a receipt from the store showing he had made one purchase for a total of $3.20. It was later determined by State Police that the items in Busharis' bags totaled a retail value of $314.00. Dick's was unable to be reached for a statement at this time, but police reports estimate the total loss incurred from the incidents to exceed $3,000.00.
Busharis admitted to the theft to State Police and revealed Boyle, who was an employee at the time of the incident, to be his accomplice on various other occasions. State Police also said that during questioning, Boyle and Busharis admitted to being assisted in the thefts by other Castleton students who have yet to be identified.
The college's president, Dave Wolk, learned of the incident from a Spartan reporter early the following morning.
"I am very surprised and saddened by what transpired," he said. " The players have been suspended indefinitely from the football program. But the team will move on, under the excellent leadership of Coach (Marc) Klatt and his talented staff."
Jeff Weld, director of College Relations and Sports Information, announced on Friday that four other Castleton student-athletes are being investigated for their suspected association with the theft.
"This matter remains under investigation in cooperation with law enforcement," he said. "The College learned that four other Castleton student-athletes may have been involved as well. Those individuals have been suspended indefinitely from the team pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation."
Coach Marc Klatt said he was disappointed by the incident but recognizes the potential in all of his players to rise up and demonstrate their strength as a team and character as individuals both on and off the field this season.
"Obviously we're disappointed and we're saddened as a football family," he said. "I believe that we'll move forward and gain strength because of it."
Despite the charges, former football team member, Andrew Cremmins, still spoke highly of teammate Brandon Boyle.
"He messed up, but he's a good kid, always worked hard, good student, good athlete. This is just unexpected and surprising," he said.
While senior Tyler Hartley shared Cremmins' shock upon hearing of the investigation, Steve Santos said his classmates disappointed him.
"It's a very poor reflection on the school," he said ay Saturday's football game. "With their selfish and immature actions, they left not only the team, but the entire school hanging."
But former Spartan, Mike McIssac , said the actions of a few should not define the entire team.
"I don't think an incident like this should tarnish the reputation of a team that works as hard as it does and prides itself on holding itself to the highest standards," he said.
Weld mirrored Wolk's shock and remorse upon learning of the investigation.
"Obviously the alleged behavior is unacceptable for any student, whether or not he or she has the privilege of intercollegiate athletic participation," he said.
According to State Police, Boyle and Busharis received criminal citations and were released. The two are set to appear before the court Oct. 14 and 28.
Emails to Boyle and Busharis have gone unreturned.
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