BROWNSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Six suspended football players from a state-owned university in western Pennsylvania were ordered Monday to stand trial on allegations that they beat and stomped on a man outside an off-campus restaurant, then yelled "Football strong!" as they drove away.
The California University of Pennsylvania players appeared in court in Washington County on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and conspiracy.
Police say the defendants attacked 30-year-old Lewis Campbell III when he tried to stop an argument between his girlfriend and a player early on Oct. 30. The victim was in a medically induced coma afterward but has since been discharged from the hospital.
A surveillance video from a nearby shop shows several men surrounding a person believed to be Campbell who is shoved to the ground. Then another person runs up and kicks him in the head, and the assailants then move out of view of the camera.
Attorneys for the players say Campbell initiated the fight. They sought dismissal of the charges, arguing that Campbell could have left when the argument broke out and that he took off his jacket in an aggressive manner.
The team forfeited its Nov. 1 game, and the school's president has promised to review the football program. The players are suspended from school while their criminal charges are pending.
The six defendants are scheduled for formal arraignment on Jan. 26.