CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Arkansas senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was suspended from the Belk Bowl after Charlotte Police cited him for shoplifting.
Sprinkle attempted to shoplift items at the Belk department store at the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte on Tuesday, putting eight items into his bag after the team’s shopping spree had finished. Police arrived after a call was made and cited him for unlawful concealment and released him.
Arkansas was at Belk to shop as each player on both teams, Arkansas and its Belk Bowl opponent Virginia Tech, had 90 minutes to spend a $450 gift card at Belk on anything in the store. The players also each received a Fossil watch.
The athletic department announced the suspension two hours before kickoff.
“Jeremy’s suspension has been known by our staff and players for several days so we’ve had a chance to prepare our game plan accordingly,” coach Bret Bielema said in the release. “Throughout his career and this season as a graduate student-athlete, Jeremy has displayed numerous times the qualities we want to represent our program. We have standards within our family that must be upheld on a daily basis and unfortunately he failed to do that in the last week. Jeremy’s suspension isn’t drug, alcohol or violence related but one that will cause him to miss his final game as a Razorback.”
Sprinkle, a senior from White Hall, had 33 catches and four touchdowns this season, his first as a starter after being No. 2 behind Hunter Henry the last two years. He had been bothered by ankle injury for most of the season, but was still the No. 7 tight end available for the NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.
SEC Country writers Eric Bolin and Trent Shadid also contributed to this report.