The eight Rutgers football players that were either dismissed or suspended last summer due to their involvement in a credit card fraud scheme avoided jail time on Thursday, per a report from Keith Sargeant and Sophie Nieto-Munez on NJ Advance Media. They were all sentenced to 18 months of pre-trial intervention per the report.
A Rutgers athletics spokesperson confirmed that Malik Dixon, Naijee Jones, CJ Onyechi and Kobe Marfo are back on the team, but said it’s “on a probationary basis through the spring.’’ They were among the 8 suspended players last fall. https://t.co/LWfexbiCXb— Keith Sargeant (@KSargeantNJ) February 28, 2019
The investigation began last July and — according to today’s report — the eight players paid back the amount of $11,250 they allegedly stole before the sentencing was issued.
In addition, the report states that four of the eight players are back on the Rutgers football team on a “probationary basis”. :
A Rutgers athletics spokesperson confirmed Thursday that Vaccaro-Dixon, Jones, Onyechi and Marfo are back on the team, but said it’s “on a probationary basis through the spring.’’ The Scarlet Knights are in the midst of their winter-conditioning program and begin spring practice on March 8. The four players will be allowed to participate in the 15-practice spring camp.
All four players back with the program remained enrolled at Rutgers last year while they were away from the team. From a football standpoint, adding four players to a defensive unit that lost the majority of its starters to graduation after last season is certainly a positive. CJ Onyechi is expected to battle for the defensive end spot, while Malik Dixon could end up at linebacker or at safety. Kobe Marfo should battle for a backup cornerback spot while Najee Jones will be competing at one of the safety spots.
The other four players involved have all left Rutgers, whether they transferred (Edwin Lopez and Syhiem Simmons) or were dismissed prior to the investigation being announced (KJ Gray and Brendan Devera).