Felony kidnapping, assault with a weapon and robbery charges landed three University of Montana football players in Missoula County jail early Sunday morning.
Missoula police waited until the Grizzlies returned to campus after their Saturday game in Pocatello, Idaho, to arrest freshman cornerback Jeremy Pate, junior running back Greg Coleman and junior defensive end Michael Shelton.
All three remained in jail Sunday night, with bond for each set at $200,000.
Because the investigation remains open and the student-athletes haven't yet been arraigned, police were tight-lipped about the matter on Sunday. Nevertheless, the Missoula County jail roster listed all three players and their alleged crimes.
According to the jail, 19-year-old Pate was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, burglary and robbery. Coleman, 22, was booked on charges of assault with a weapon, kidnapping, burglary and robbery.
And Shelton, 21, was arrested on charges of assault with a weapon, burglary and two counts of robbery.
Missoula police wouldn't discuss the incident that led to the alleged crimes, but Capt. Marty Ludemann said police still want to question a few more people.
"There are three or four people out there we have to verify their connection to this, but we can't locate them. We don't know if they have taken off or if they got scared off," Ludemann said. "There's still some information we have to lock down."
Late Sunday, UM's athletic department was struggling to move beyond the shock of the arrests - which came on the heels of several high-profile arrests of football players this past summer in Missoula and Southern California.
"I'm sickened and embarrassed by this," said Grizzly football coach Bobby Hauck. "This is different to me than anything else that has happened. There's some embarrassment to me personally. We do everything we can to educate these guys, and it's like having your own children get into trouble.
"I don't have any details on what supposedly transpired. All I know is that we had three players arrested and we have 100 hard-working kids on our team that will be negatively affected by this."
The timing for such challenges is never good, but with the Montana-Montana State football game just days away and UM vying for another possible trip to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the national title game, the timing couldn't be worse, Hauck said.
"We'll have to let the judicial system take its course with those players that won't be with us," he said. "And we have great guys who do great work on the team who will have to really focus in on their jobs.
"The biggest challenge will be getting over the disappointment that goes along with people letting the team down - and getting people beyond that isn't going to be easy."
Players, too, were reeling from the news.
"It's pretty much a shock to all of us, and it isn't a reflection on any Montana Grizzly football player," said senior linebacker Muckie Foreman. "We don't carry ourselves in that type of manner.
"This is a huge disappointment - all of us on the team looked up to these guys."
As the week unfolds, more details surrounding the arrests will emerge and issues can be addressed head-on, said Jim O'Day, UM athletic director.
"Personally, I'm very disappointed with what's happened," O'Day said. "I can't understand that with all the work we have put in over the past year to help our student-athletes make better decisions and this comes back to bite us again.
"It's very disappointing - it bothers us."
Last summer, two Grizzly football players made headlines following a shooting death in Southern California. Junior cornerback Jimmy Wilson was arrested for allegedly shooting a man to death, and cornerback Qwenton Freeman, who allegedly witnessed the murder, was dismissed from the team after he was arrested for disorderly conduct in Missoula a few weeks later.
In the wake of the summertime arrests, UM worked to implement a new mentoring program, educational speakers were brought in to talk about the power of good decision making, athletes were subjected to random drug testing, and in some cases, more thorough background checks were initiated for athletes and recruits, O'Day said.
"It gets to the point where you wonder what more can you do," he said. "In all of our sports, our coaches and staff spend countless hours in recruiting, trying to get to know these young men and women. We spend time with their coaches, families, we talk to their teachers and we get those recruits together with our current student-athletes to make sure they are a good fit for our program."
"We talk about how to improve what we are doing, and we talk daily about how you can prevent these things from happening," he said. "We have been proactive in this. Yet some situations still occur.
"This one that we are just learning about is very discouraging and embarrassing to all of us."
"It make me sick," Hauck said. "The fact that this will reflect on how we do things and we have so many positive things going on, on and off the football field, with our team. For our kids, this is a step backward. It's not productive, it's not what we want."
Because Monday is a government holiday, Pate, Shelton and Coleman might not make their first court appearance until Tuesday - depending upon whether a judge is available on the off-day, according to Ludemann.
Pate, of Las Vegas, Nev., was a redshirt at Montana last season, so this was his first season playing for the Grizzlies. He lettered twice in football, basketball and track at Silverado High School.
Coleman, of Peoria, Ill., was also a redshirt in 2006, having suffered an early season injury. He transferred to Montana after two years playing football for Iowa State University.
Shelton, of Compton, Calif., transferred to Montana this fall from the University of Arizona. He had only started practicing with the Grizzlies in early October.