Posted by Jerry Hinnen
A backup safety for Vanderbilt has provided James Franklin's team with a major distraction just ahead of its biggest game of the year.
Commodore sophomore Andre Simmons has been arrested and charged with felony counts of burglary and armed robbery. Simmons has been indefinitely suspended from the team, Vandy vice chancellor of athletics David Williams said in a statement.
“While this is an on-going investigation, it is our understanding that a member of our football team may have been involved in behavior that is unacceptable," Williams said in a statement. "Therefore, we have suspended Andre Simmons until the completion and determination of the investigation.”
According to an affidavit filed with Davidson County law enforcement, Simmons and a second suspect entered the dorm room of a fellow Vanderbilt student Tuesday armed with a handgun. The pair allegedly removed $5,000 from a safe in the room before a fight broke out and the student was struck in the head with the gun. The second suspect fled with the money while Simmons stayed behind to delay the student. Once Simmons had left the scene, police were called and Simmons was arrested in a nearby garage.
The second suspect has not yet been identified or caputured.
Simmons has made only one apperance this season, and that one on special teams; he won't be missed at all on the field. But with a road game against vulnerable in-state rival Tennessee looming Saturday -- and a win giving the 'Dores just their second bowl berth since 1982 -- Franklin has to be bitterly disappointed his team has to deal with Simmons' alleged actions off the field at this critical juncture.