Oregon's star RB arrested on strangulation, assault charges
Oregon tailback LaMichael James, one of the top freshmen in the nation, was arrested on domestic violence charges after his girlfriend said he grabbed her neck during an argument and pushed her to the ground.
James, 20, was in the Lane County Jail on Wednesday on misdemeanor charges of menacing, strangulation and assault. No bail amount was set and it was not immediately known if he has a lawyer.
Springfield police Sgt. Tom Borchers said the incident happened Monday evening outside a Springfield apartment complex. The 22-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, contacted authorities the following day and police located James in Eugene late Tuesday.
The woman sustained an abrasion but did not require hospitalization, Borchers said.
James began the season as the backup to LeGarrette Blount, but quickly became a star after Blount was suspended for most of the season for punching a Boise State player immediately after the Ducks' season opener.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound James rushed for 1,546 yards, the ninth-highest total in the nation and the most ever by a Pac-10 freshman. He had seven consecutive 100-yard games before Ohio State limited him to 70 in the Rose Bowl.
University officials did not immediately return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.
The arrest comes the same week kicker Rob Beard was charged with assault for a Jan. 24 altercation that precipitated a brawl that left him badly beaten and in need of facial surgery. Another kicker involved in the incident, Mike Bowlin, left the team this week and defensive end Matt Simms was dismissed from the squad after he was charged with assault in what police say was an attack on someone Simms thought was involved in the Beard beating.