University statement regarding arrests

The following statement was released by the Athletic Department at the University of Oregon in response to inquiries surrounding charges filed against two football recruits. (Release made on Wednesday, May 24, 2006.)

(Major Culbert was a high school football recruit who was arrested on charges based on an alleged incident that occurred in January on his recruiting visit at the University of Oregon that also involved Marvin Johnson. Cullbert (San Pedro, CA) subsequently signed a letter of intent at another institution, Johnson (Compton, CA) signed to play football at Oregon)

The football staff became aware of the alleged incident within two weeks of Major Culbert's visit to the University of Oregon during the weekend of Jan. 13. A scholarship offer was never made to the prospect and a decision was made to cease the recruitment process of that recruit after the staff learned of the alleged incident.

The football office received the initial call regarding a reported incident in Barnhart Hall from the University's Department of Public Safety. Mike Bellotti (Oregon head football coach) immediately dispatched two members of his staff to assist campus safety with their investigation. During the course of the investigation, the University was notified that the case would be forwarded to the Eugene Police Department for further review.

A second prospect, based on the information available from public safety and the Eugene police at that time, appeared to not have been directly involved in the alleged incident. Based on this information, Marvin Johnson was subsequently signed to a national letter of intent on Feb. 1.

The athletic department was notified the week of May 15 that a warrant for the arrest of the prospect who signed a letter of intent also was issued.

Johnson voluntarily turned himself in to Eugene law enforcement authorities Wednesday.

The athletic department remains in communication with the Eugene Police Department and the University's Department of Public Safety regarding their investigation and all action on the behalf of the football program in February was based on the information that was provided at that time.

The athletic department takes this issue very seriously and the University is monitoring the situation closely. Johnson's status with the football program, as well as the University, will be dependent upon his exoneration of these charges.

Furthermore, the athletic department remains confident that no additional prospective recruits or current student-athletes were involved in this alleged incident.

Due to federal privacy statutes and student record restrictions, the University is prevented from responding further to any more specifics of this case.

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