Crime & Courts

Player in town for Belk Bowl accused of shoplifting at SouthPark Belk store

Arkansas senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was suspended from Thursday’s Belk Bowl after police accused him of attempting to shoplift items from the Belk store at SouthPark mall.
Arkansas senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was suspended from Thursday’s Belk Bowl after police accused him of attempting to shoplift items from the Belk store at SouthPark mall. AP

A University of Arkansas football player was suspended from Thursday’s Belk Bowl after police accused him of shoplifting items from the Belk store at SouthPark mall.

Senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was charged with shoplifting by concealment and released after Tuesday’s incident.

Sprinkle is accused of putting eight items into his bag after a shopping spree involving Arkansas and Virginia Tech players had ended, SEC Country reported. Players had 90 minutes to spend a $450 gift card on anything in the Belk store.

Sprinkle shoplifted $260 worth of items, including blue-striped Saddlebred boxer shorts, four shirts, two wallets and a pair of Nike socks, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report.

The Arkansas athletic department announced Sprinkle’s suspension two hours before the Belk Bowl kickoff at Bank of America Stadium.

“Jeremy’s suspension has been known by our staff and players for several days, so we’ve had a chance to prepare our game plan accordingly,” coach Bret Bielema said in a media release. “Throughout his career and this season as a graduate student-athlete, Jeremy has displayed numerous times the qualities we want to represent our program. We have standards within our family that must be upheld on a daily basis and unfortunately he failed to do that in the last week. Jeremy’s suspension isn’t drug, alcohol or violence related but one that will cause him to miss his final game as a Razorback.”

Sprinkle was ranked the seventh-best tight end available for the NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., according to SEC Country.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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