Robert Nkemdiche has been a key to the Ole Miss Rebels success the past three seasons. The 6-foot-4, 296 pound defensive tackle wants to play against Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's night. However, his status for the game remains up in the air according to Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze.
On Saturday night Nkemdiche was staying at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta on Peachtree Street in a fourth-floor room. Atlanta police believe Nkemdiche broke a window in the hotel room, crawled out and apparently fell 15 feet onto the concrete of a driveway.
Nkemdiche had been released from an Atlanta hospital and was taken to the Atlanta city jail and booked. According to Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, Nkemdiche received stitches on his back, leg and has a swollen ankle.
"The charges are a misdemeanor, "stated Freeze. "Obviously a lot of times that, you've got to see the whole thing for what it is and I haven't had time to do that yet."
Freeze said Nkemdiche was traveling to Oxford and he was slated to meet with him when he arrived. One reporter asked about his status for the game and said she had spoke to Ole Miss fans and said those fans wanted coach Freeze to give Nkemdiche a second chance.
Freeze said, "I can't let the passion outside our room direct our decision. We'll treat him just like any other player. Get to the bottom of the facts as we know them and make a decision we think best for both sides and move forward. The priority is his well being, of course."
Another reported asked coach Freeze about the past issues involving both Robert and his older brother Denzel Nkemdiche. Freeze asked him what other issues he was talking about and the reporter brought up the 2014 incident where both Nkemdiche brothers were sued by another Ole Miss student after he was attacked at an Ole Miss fraternity party. The reporter also brought up the recent hospitalization of Denzel, who was hospitalized for what was described as a "personal matter."
Freeze said he couldn't comment on any kid who passed or failed a drug tests because that would be illegal. He went on to say he worries about kids in general.
"I worry about my daughter, about everyone of them players who sit here in them seats, every single day and certainly don't beat them up over a past mistake. I've made mind, maybe you haven't, but I've made my share.
You know, he knows exactly what he has at stake. Certainly disappointed that he was in that situation. Again I don't know all the facts as of yet. But, I worry about every single kid that I have. I worry about every college student. It's a problem in society that seems to be definitely on college campuses for sure.
The reporter asked coach if he had done enough to help them? Freeze said, "No, obviously I haven't helped them enough."
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