Arkansas Player Suspended from Belk Bowl for 'Alleged Shoplifting Attempt' at Belk Store

Jeremy Sprinkle allegedly tried to take items valued in excess of the gift card all players got to spend at the Belk store.
December 29, 2016, 10:13pm
Stickum fingers. Photo credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from SEC Country, Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle was suspended from today's Belk Bowl for shoplifting at the Belk store. The Arkansas athletic department announced the suspension about two hours before kickoff, but according to head coach Bret Bielema, most of the program has known for "several days."

There's not much to go on in the report, SEC Country attributes it to unnamed sources, but the gist of it is that players from both Arkansas and Virginia Tech were given a $450 gift card on Tuesday to be used on anything they wanted in the Belk department store in Charlotte's SouthPark Mall. They had 90 minutes to use the cards and all we know about the senior tight end's transgression is that "Sources said Sprinkle attempted to take items worth more than the allotted cost available."

That's a weird way of describing a "shoplifting attempt"—under that description he could have been stuffing things down his pockets, or miscalculated the value of what he tried using the card for—but that's all we've got. Either way he's suspended for something that seems out of character for him, at least according to Bielema.

"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."

Officials at Belk and the mall did not comment on the story, and Charlotte police were never dispatched to the store location.