LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An arrest may intercept one UofL football signee's chances of playing for the Cards.
One of the jewels in Bobby Petrino's recruiting class, Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad, a 17 year old, 6'3" linebacker from Fort Pierce, Florida, may never set foot on campus after being arrested on a felony charge.
He is accused of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim age 12 to 16. Officials determined there was a greater than 99.99% probability he got a 14 year old girl pregnant, according to Fort Pierce police records. She later had an abortion.
Police began investigating the case in October of 2013. The victim, who multiple media outlets report is the suspect's cousin, told police she was 11 when Rhaheed-Muhammad began touching her inappropriately.
UofL released a statement saying "Coach Bobby Petrino is aware of the situation." The school will not comment further.
Charlie Strong and his staff were already recruiting Rhaheed-Muhammad before Petrino took over. He's a four-star recruit and considered the second-highest ranked signee in the Cards class.
On SportsTalk 84, one of our partner radio programs, the message from host Lachlan McLean and from callers was relatively consistent.
"This is a major PR hit for Louisville, it's already happening," said McLean. "The headline says UofL recruit impregnates his 14 year old cousin, that is just bad on so many levels. To me if you're Louisville, you have to avoid further bad PR and you have to cut ties," he continued. "He may be innocent until proven guilty, but this is the court of public opinion. You've got to move on, not take the hit."
"There has [sic] to be consequences when these kids make these ridiculous decisions," one caller said. "This is flat out wrong on any level and he cannot come to UofL."
WAVE 3 Sports Director Kent Taylor was told by multiple sources who cover recruiting extensively that Rhaheed-Muhammad was close to committing to the Cards before Strong left.
It is not known if the current UofL staff had any knowledge of potential legal issues.
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