Three Oregon football players ‘no longer with’ team following criminal accusations

Three Oregon football players who had off-the-field issues are “no longer with the team,” UO athletics spokesman Craig Pintens confirmed Monday afternoon. Redshirt junior defensive lineman Eddie Heard, freshman wide receiver Tristen Wallace and freshman linebacker Darrian Franklin are done playing for the Ducks.

Pintens would not confirm whether new head coach Willie Taggart dismissed the players or they left on their own terms, but investigations of the players by UO and local police remain ongoing. All three athletes were suspended from the team by former head coach Mark Helfrich.

Heard was suspended indefinitely the day after he was arrested by UO police on Nov. 1, 2016, on charges of harassment and assault in the fourth degree. The arrest came after UOPD received a report from a woman not affiliated with UO who said Heard repeatedly touched and slapped her inside Taylor’s Bar and Grill on Oct. 30, then punched her in the face after she left the bar.

Heard plead not guilty and is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 12. He played in eight games for the Ducks in 2016.

Wallace and Franklin were suspended indefinitely from the team in October 2016. They are currently under investigation by UOPD for a criminal offense and by UO for a student conduct code violation. The Oregonian’s Andrew Greif reported that both players had been barred from campus for allegations of sexual assault, and the Lane County district attorney’s office is also investigating after receiving reports from both UOPD and EPD.

UOPD spokesman Kelly McIver confirmed the criminal investigations of Wallace and Franklin are both ongoing. Neither athlete played in a game for the Ducks in 2016.

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Kenny Jacoby

Kenny Jacoby

Kenny is the senior sports editor for the Emerald. He spent two years studying computer and information science before changing his major to journalism. He also freelances for the Register-Guard, interns for the Eugene Weekly and works as a research assistant for UO journalism professor Seth Lewis.