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2 UM football players arrested after scuffle with Missoula police
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2 UM football players arrested after scuffle with Missoula police

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Two University of Montana football players were arrested for obstructing a peace officer and disorderly conduct early Sunday morning after the team returned to Missoula from Northern Arizona University.

The incident involved Grizzly quarterback Gerald Kemp and cornerback Trumaine Johnson, both of whom were subdued with stun guns when they scuffled with police officers, said Missoula Police Sgt. Collin Rose.

According to Rose, officers were called to the 1100 block of North Russell Street around 2:40 a.m. on a noise complaint.

When they tried to quiet a party of 30-some people and get them to go home for the evening, one of the football players allegedly struck an officer in the chest with an open hand and was arrested.

The other football player was arrested while grabbing another officer in an effort to stop police from arresting his teammate.

To subdue the unruly athletes, both were shocked with stun guns and taken to the Missoula County jail.

Police are not yet releasing details of which football player struck a police officer, Rose said, as the investigation is continuing.

Kemp and Johnson, both 21, were arrested for misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Both bonded out of Missoula County jail about an hour after being behind bars.

"Alcohol appears to be a huge part of this," Rose said. "All charges are a misdemeanor at this time."

University of Montana officials were tight-lipped about the arrests and did not comment about potential consequences for the athletes.

"We are continuing our investigation into the allegations, and will let the judicial system run its course," UM Athletic Director Jim O'Day said in a statement. "Any disciplining will be handled internally through our student-athlete code of conduct.

"The matter remains under investigation by the Missoula City Police Department. The University of Montana will have no further comment until after the investigation concludes, and the matter has gone through the court system."

The UM football team returned to Missoula late Saturday night by charter plane, having defeated NAU in a game at Flagstaff, Ariz., earlier in the evening.

Both Johnson and Kemp are standout football players.

Johnson was all-American at corner in 2010 and a 2011 preseason all-American. The fourth-year senior is a career leader in pass deflections, has 13 career interceptions and is considered to have an NFL future.

Kemp worked his way into the lineup as Grizzly quarterback and receiver this year after playing some running back last year. He is a fourth-year junior who had eight catches for 82 yards in the Oct. 8 game against Idaho State University and had his best game at quarterback against Northern Colorado on Oct. 1.

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When two University of Montana football players were tased during a scuffle with police at a post-game party last month, UM executive vice president Jim Foley accompanied them on Sunday to the offices of powerful law firm Datsopoulos, MacDonald and Lind.

Special treatment for athletes?

Yes - and for anyone else at the university caught in the flashing-light intersection of the university, the legal system and the media, officials said.

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