Castleton athlete makes court appearance - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Castleton athlete makes court appearance

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"We continue to work with law enforcement as much as we can and try to make the process as smooth as possible," said Jeff Weld with Castleton State College.

Weld said the arrests of six student athletes came as a shock. Police say the students took part in an alleged retail theft ring. "Certainly it's still not an easy situation for us. We continue to move forward in a positive way, focusing on all of the other students that are doing great things," Weld said.

Vermont State Police say on September 10th two Castleton football players were caught stealing hundreds of dollars of merchandise from Dicks Sporting Goods in Rutland. Since then, an investigation has linked four football players, and two soccer players to thousands of dollars of missing items from the store.

On Monday in Rutland Criminal Court, 19-year-old George Busharis pleaded not-guilty to four counts of retail theft. Police say on multiple occasions, Busharhis would bring hundreds of dollars of merchandise to checkout, but fellow teammate -- and Dicks employee, Brandon Boyle -- would only charge for a single item.

Busharis was the Spartans starting quarterback. Also suspended from the football team was all-American wide receiver Brandon Boyle, Mark Comstock, and Zach Howe. Soccer players Eric Cross and Dominic Heller are also being charged and are suspended indefinitely from the team.

"I think that the college and all of the people at the college continue to stand by, even the young men going through this. This is certainly not a situation where the college views them as bad people," Weld said.

Weld said as the investigation continues, they hope the students can come together and put this misconduct in the past. The athletes are all subject to on-campus judicial review, but Weld says they are not suspended from school. "Focus on the positive things that are going on on campus. We have homecoming coming up -- it's a time that really showcases the campus. We have a lot of community members to come on, and a lot of alumni come back," he said.

Vermont State Police said their investigation is still ongoing and more students may still named in the retail theft ring. The alleged leader, Brandon Boyle, will be facing embezzlement charges in court October 28th.

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