Two days after his arrest outside a local bar, Bradlee Van Pelt and the rest of his Ram teammates returned to the practice field for the first time in two weeks and had what head coach Sonny Lubick called a normal practice.
Though the work on the field might have been routine, the post-practice interview session was more crowded than usual, with most of the attention focusing on Van Pelt.
The junior quarterback was charged with verbal harrassment, a misdemeanor, early Friday morning, and spent the night at the Larimer County Dentention Center and was released after posting $150 bond.
After returning to the practice field two days later, Van Pelt said he was still surprised at his arrest.
“I could understand if I was pushing through a crowd or taking swings at people, but when you say two or three words to someone and they arrest you on the spot without even knowing the story, it’s sometimes hard to swallow,” Van Pelt said. “What happened probably happened 50 times that night to different people.”
What happened, according to Van Pelt, was a brief verbal and non-violent exchange between him and another bar-goer, who was not identified.
“A guy was yelling at me, I shouted back at him, the cop was right there,” Van Pelt said. “It was simply a little argument and to all of a sudden be handcuffed and put in the back of a paddywagon was surprising.”
Lubick said he would have to find out the facts from the police report before he and his coaches made any decision on punishment for Van Pelt.
“He’s sorry for it, but we still have to do something because he’s Bradlee Van Pelt,” Lubick said. “We addressed it yesterday in front of the whole team when Bradlee was there. What it all comes down to is because you’re a football player, you get a lot of rewards, a lot of nice things. But when things are going bad, you’d better be ready to deal with those things, too.”
Lubick did not give a timetable for when a punishment would be issued or whether such punishment will involve Van Pelt’s playing time in the Liberty Bowl.
Whatever the punishment, Van Pelt said he would accept it and do his best to move on and focus on the bowl game.
“They’ll sit down, they’ll come up with a punishment for me and I’ll accept that punishment,” Van Pelt said. “I really, truly believe that it shouldn’t affect the bowl game because it was a non-violent thing.”
CSU teammates were supportive of Van Pelt and some shared his surprise at being arrested.
“Guys are guys, guys get drunk and they get stupid. And when it’s just a little bit of jawing like that I just don’t think that’s grounds to arrest somebody,” said CSU linebacker Drew Wood. “He didn’t throw a punch, he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Cornerback Dexter Wynn echoed Wood’s sentiments and said he and other teammates would stand by Van Pelt.
“Bradlee’s always going to be there for us and we’re always going to be there for Bradlee,” Wynn said. “This doesn’t change anything for us as a team.”
Lubick said the team would take off Monday and Tuesday of finals week before resuming light workouts on Wednesday and Thursday.