WR Tristen Wallace under investigation for criminal offense and student conduct code violation; LB Darrian Franklin also implicated
UPDATE: 4:30 p.m. — Athletic department spokesman Craig Pintens confirmed both Tristen Wallace and Darrian Franklin were suspended by former UO coach Mark Helfrich in October and remain suspended.
Oregon wide receiver Tristen Wallace is under criminal investigation by the University of Oregon Police Department and is being investigated by UO for a student conduct code violation, the Emerald has learned.
The Oregonian’s Andrew Greif later reported that Wallace — along with freshman linebacker Darrian Franklin — have been barred from campus in connection with a sexual assault allegation.
The Emerald on Wednesday requested through UO to learn the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding regarding a violent crime allegedly committed by Wallace. UO spokeswoman Emily Halnon confirmed that the UO’s student conduct code investigation of Wallace is ongoing and was not at liberty to provide additional information.
Wallace has been under criminal investigation by UOPD since at least Nov. 23, when UOPD spokesman Kelly McIver first confirmed to the Emerald that the case involving Wallace was open and active. McIver confirmed on Dec. 21 that the case remains open and active; he was unable to provide further details because UOPD’s investigation of Wallace is also ongoing.
Wallace, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound freshman from DeSoto, Texas, did not see playing time during the 2016 season despite being one of the highest-ranked recruits of Oregon’s 2016 recruiting class. 247Sports rated Wallace as the No. 4 athlete in the country out of high school, while ESPN rated him as the nation’s No. 7 dual-threat quarterback.
It is unclear whether the UOPD and UO investigations of Wallace played a factor in his sitting out the 2016 season. When asked on Sept. 1 whether Wallace would play during the 2016 season, then-head coach Mark Helfrich said, “probably.” But when asked again on Sept. 18 after Wallace had not yet played, Helfrich said, “We’ll see.”
Wallace was mentioned frequently in GoDucks.com’s daily football practice reports during August and September, but not in any one of the 33 practice reports since Oct. 4, when GoDucks.com’s Rob Moseley reported that the coaching staff “would like to get [Wallace] a redshirt if possible.”
Wallace had committed to play for Ohio State in March 2015, but flipped his commitment to Oregon in December 2015. He also flipped positions from quarterback to wide receiver.
Like Wallace, Franklin did not play during the 2016 season. Franklin graduated from high school early to enroll at Oregon and participate in spring practices.
UO Athletic Department spokesmen were not immediately reachable for comment by text message or phone call.
Multiple other Oregon football players were investigated by local police this season. Eugene Police investigated wide receiver Darren Carrington for allegedly pushing a man and breaking his arm. Linebacker Torrodney Prevot is under criminal investigation by UOPD; he was suspended two years from UO after violating the student conduct code pertaining to domestic violence and gender-based harassment.
Austin Maloata was dismissed by the Ducks in November following an arrest for DUII, reckless driving and unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Eddie Heard was suspended indefinitely by Helfrich in early November after he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of harassment and assault.
Ryan Kostecka contributed to this report.
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