October 31, 2018

Football player hit with gun charge

By Sam Combest —

University of Louisville football player Kemari Averett was arrested Oct. 15 on charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and fourth-degree assault for a domestic violence incident.

The charges against Averett came after he allegedly held a BB-gun to a woman’s head and threatened to kill her, according to Louisville Metro Police Department reports.

Averett, 20, is a sophomore tight end on the football team. He was suspended indefinitely pending investigation, but has since been barred from campus and kicked out of his university-affiliated, off-campus apartment, his attorney Aubrey Williams said.

Information surfaced last week that Averett had been accused of sexual assault Oct. 9, with the University of Louisville Police Department investigating the charge. That meant Averett played in the Oct. 13 Boston College game just days after being accused of sexual assault.

Averett’s wanton endangerment charge was reduced to second-degree—a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

The new charge could result in jail time and a $500 fine. A jury trial on the gun-related case is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2019.

Athletics director Vince Tyra commented on both cases, defending the action taken by athletics.

“What we knew on Oct. 15 is what we made our decision on, there wasn’t knowledge of the accusation, and I’m learning as we speak. I don’t have a document in front of me and I don’t have anything in front of me more than you have that would represent anything that would’ve changed our decision,” Tyra said.

According to U of L, the first step to handling Title IX cases is to reach out to the alleged victim and “offer interim measures such as no-contact letters, changes in academic and/or living situations, counseling services, escort services, medical services, academic support services, and the notification of the right to file a complaint with local law enforcement.”

Tyra said athletics had not been notified of the assault accusations. He said they could not have determined a plan of action without an actual charge.

“There’s definitely a privacy issue, but I think there’s also due process, just like anything,” Tyra said.

“Where we sit in athletics, we don’t get involved with what would happen on the front end. We’re not the primary leader on this,” Tyra said. “We don’t get involved in any investigations. I don’t want to influence any investigation, from the university officials or any law officials.”

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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