MISSOULA — University of Montana starting senior safety Justin Strong will be suspended for two games following his weekend arrest for assault in Pullman, Washington.
No charges have been filed against Strong, who was released after being booked for involvement in a second-degree assault, a felony in Washington. Strong was dressed out for practice Wednesday.
Strong told police he was breaking up a fight at a house party and later hit Bradley "Wyatt" Meyring — a hammer thrower for Washington State — because Meyring hit him first. Strong, according to the police report, had a cut lip and a swollen right eye.
Pullman police chief Gary Jenkins said police have identified the two people who were with Strong on the night of his arrest but, "are not identifying them nor confirming if they are (University) of Montana football players."
Kent Haslam, Montana's athletic director, said Wednesday evening that he's aware other players on the team went to Pullman with Strong over the weekend. Haslam also did not give names.
Jenkins said witnesses are being re-interviewed and police are attempting to identify other potential witnesses. The investigation continues.
According to Denis Tracy, Whitman County's county attorney, no charges had been filed against anyone in the case as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. If charges were to be filed, Tracy is the person who would file them.
"Charges haven't been filed against anyone and they won't be until after the police finish their investigation," Tracy said.
Jenkins also said he heard that Meyring, injured in the weekend fight, was to be released from Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane on Tuesday, but that hadn't been confirmed.
Meyring suffered a fractured skull and a hematoma and was flown out of Pullman to Spokane Saturday morning for additional medical care.
A spokeswoman for Sacred Heart Medical Center "could not find" Meyring's information in the database for current patients on Wednesday afternoon and said there was "no additional information to share."
Police were dispatched Saturday to a dispute in Pullman's College Hill neighborhood after a caller reported a "group of guys beating up an unconscious male."
Multiple witnesses have differing accounts of the incident.
Two other men, according to the police report, were with Strong. Their names were not listed in the report, but police have since identified them, without releasing their names to the media. According to witnesses, they were all wearing Washington State apparel.
Strong was arrested Saturday morning and booked into Whitman County Jail in Colfax, Washington. His bail was set at $50,000 via telephonic hearing, but was released on his own recognizance on Monday morning.
Haslam said the protocol in this case would follow the student-athlete code of conduct. Felony charges are a Category I violation.
Since Strong — Montana's starting free safety, who leads the team in interceptions — has not yet been charged, the Athlete Conduct Team is in charge of determining preliminary action, in this case the two-game suspension.
The ACT is made up of Haslam, the senior associate athletic director Jean Gee, faculty athletics representative Dusten Hollist and the chair of the University Athletic Committee Annie Belcourt.
If charges are filed, athletes facing felony charges are on indefinite suspension pending the outcome of criminal proceedings and further disciplinary action by the ACT. The penalty for a first-offense Category I violation is dismissal from the team.