Norwich University football players face assault charges

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NORTHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) Four Norwich University football players are pleading not guilty to assault and burglary charges after an alleged attack on campus this month. But at least one of the suspects, a team captain on the football team, is still on the field.

Court records show the four students broke into a dorm room on September 8th and assaulted three people over a $5 debt. Connor Shea, 20, Owen McKenna, 21, Ryan Shea, 21, and Michael Curran, 22, are all facing assault and burglary charges.

A police affidavit says the four upperclassmen allegedly beat up one student so badly, it left him with a black eye that required stiches at the hospital.

Even with the charges looming, football captain Owen McKenna played in this past weekend's homecoming game against the Coast Guard Academy.

Norwich staff said they can't talk about the specifics of the case, but in a statement to WCAX said:

"Any misconduct reported to the university is investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of university policy and of the law, where applicable. The Norwich University community values honor, integrity and respect for the law as cornerstones of our culture."

The student handbook says students facing the most severe punishment short of expulsion are not allowed to participate in intercollegiate athletic competitions or extracurricular activities during the first ten days of their confinement.

All four students charged in the attack are still enrolled at Norwich.

The allegations come at a sensitive time for the university, which just celebrated its bicentennial with VIPs and other alumni attending celebrations this past weekend.