WMU denies it knew about troubled football player’s past


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University’s athletic director denied allegations that the program knew about a former football player’s troubled past before recruiting him and before he was charged with armed robbery and home invasion.

Bryson White’s former high school in Ohio said in an email that its football coach had informed the Broncos about his “significant troubles at school with law enforcement.”

But in an email response sent late Tuesday to Target 8, WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard said that never happened. She called the accusation “unjust.”

“The information reflected in the email from Mason school officials is simply wrong,” Beauregard wrote.

White had been accused of four separate sexual assaults, including gang rapes, in Mason several years before WMU recruited him, though he was never charged.>>Timeline: Accusations, arrests follow Bryson White from Ohio to WMU

In March 2016, a month after White announced he would play football for the Broncos, he was arrested in Mason on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana and driving on a suspended license. His passenger had a gun, and a mask was found in the car.

Beauregard said the Broncos later asked about White’s background in an email exchange with Mason High School’s principal and football coach. That happened after a question was raised about his character, she has said.

“The assertion that information was shared with our coaching staff is untrue,” she wrote.

“As you know, we cannot release student records without violating federal student privacy provisions,” she wrote to Target 8. “If we could, I would be able to share these documents with you, and this matter would be quickly put to rest. We will not, however, stand by while our program and the ethical standards we cherish and instill in our student athletes are unjustly maligned.”

In August 2016, before the Broncos football season started, White and another player were charged with armed robbery and home invasion in an off-campus apartment in Kalamazoo. Those cases are pending.

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