Maryland offensive guard Lewis dismissed from team

Starter turned himself into authorities following allegations of second-degree assault

July 05, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

Justin Lewis, who started 12 of 13 games for Maryland's football team last season at right guard, was dismissed from the team Tuesday and turned himself in to authorities to respond to allegations of second-degree assault, according to university and law enforcement officials.

University police said a warrant was issued for Lewis, 21, in Prince George's County.

"Apparently, somebody filed charges against him," university police spokesman Marc Limansky said. "There was an outstanding warrant and he decided to turn himself in."

Lewis was charged in connection with an alleged June 26 fight.

Lewis could not be reached for comment at the family's home in South Carolina, but the player's father, Ronald Lewis, said: "This is only an accusation. Any person can make an accusation that somebody did something to them. There are two sides to a story."

"Coach [Randy] Edsall released him prematurely," the father also said. "As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing."

Neither university police nor Prince George's County booking authorities said they could offer details about the case.

An online document from District Court listed only the charge, the incident date and an Aug. 8 trial date.

Edsall said in a news release that Lewis — who was expected to be a central part of the team's maturing offensive line — was dropped "for a violation of team policies."

"As with any organization there are policies which must be adhered to by all individuals and when they're not, there are consequences for an individual's actions," Edsall said in the release.

Edsall declined further comment.

Lewis was a redshirt sophomore last season. He missed spring practices while recovering from offseason knee surgery.

The Johnsonville, S.C., native appeared in 24 career games for the Terps, starting 15.

Maryland's offensive line struggled with inexperience and injuries in 2009, problems that contributed to the team going 2-10.

But the line was more seasoned in 2010, and it showed. The Terps ranked fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in passing efficiency and helped quarterback Danny O'Brien become ACC rookie of the year.

Lewis and the other 2010 starters on the offensive line, except center Paul Pinegar, had been expected back this season.

Edsall is in his first season at Maryland. He has often talked about holding players to high standards off the field.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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