Chris Jones Dismissed by Louisville: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Tim KeeneyContributor IFebruary 22, 2015

CORRECTS TO WINSTON SALEM-Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, left, shouts at Chris Jones, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Winston Salem, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Louisville won 85-76. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Chris Jones has been dismissed by Louisville after a suspension for a violation of team rules and a subsequent reinstatement by the program. He has since been charged with rape and sodomy, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Continue for updates.


Jones Released From House Arrest

Wednesday, April 1

WDRB in Louisville reported that Jones has been released from house arrest: 

WDRB has learned that former University of Louisville basketball player Chris Jones has been released from home incarceration.

Jones was charged with rape and sodomy in February, accused of assaulting two women.

He pleaded not guilty, and a judge placed Jones on home incarceration.

But now, Judge Barry Willett has ordered that Jones and his two co-defendants can be released from home incarceration.


Witnesses Support Jones' Innocence

Monday, March 9

"An attorney for former Louisville basketball player Chris Jones said on Monday that 'every single person who was in the apartment' the night Jones is accused of raping two women will support his innocence," per Jason Riley of WDRB.com

Defense attorney Scott C. Cox told reporters, "The evidence in his favor, frankly, is growing every day as we continue our investigation. I don't think the proof will support charges against Chris." 

However, according to Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell, " there is 'ample, compelling and critical evidence' against Jones, who has pleaded not guilty on charges of rape and sodomy and released on home incarceration."


Witness Claims Rape Allegations Are False

Thursday, March 5

Andrew Wolfson and Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that a witness claims Jones never committed the alleged crimes. They offered the following details:

In a post on social media, Kristen Smith, who attends Bullitt Central High School, said, "For the people saying Chris raped someone, I was there and he didn't."

She also wrote that "the girl" — referring to one of Jones' accusers from the get-together — "thought it was funny and I'm going to defend that 100 percent because I was in the room the whole time."

Smith's mother, Sherry Smith, confirmed that her daughter wrote the post on her Instagram account and that she has given a statement about it to Jones' lawyers. The account is private and can only be seen by her friends, but The Courier-Journal obtained a copy of the post.


Jones Charged With Rape, Sodomy

Thursday, Feb. 26

Wolfson reported that Jones has had a warrant issued for his arrest on rape and sodomy charges: 

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former University of Louisville basketball player Chris Jones on charges of raping one woman and sodomizing another.

The warrant, obtained by University of Louisville police, was signed Wednesday by Jefferson District Judge Katie King.

The warrant says that one of the women was hospitalized Sunday and able to identify Jones as her assailant. One of the women is 19 and the other 20, according to the warrant.

Jones, who was dismissed from the team Sunday, is expected to surrender in court on Thursday morning.

According to Wolfson, the incidents occurred on the night of Feb. 21, after Jones had been reinstated to the Cardinals' basketball team.  


Jones Reportedly Threatened Female Student

Monday, Feb. 23

Marcus Green of WDRB reported that Jones allegedly threatened to "smack" a female student last week, according to campus police. It's unknown if the incident played into the decision to dismiss Jones.

Insider Louisville provided more details on the incident (h/t Mike Rutherford of the Card Chronicle):

According to the report, the woman had tried to meet Jones at his apartment, and when he didn’t show up, she “mess(ed) up” his room. At 2 p.m. the following day, Jones allegedly texted her back, threatening to “smack TF (the f***) out of” her.

The report also indicates she did not wish to press charges.

In addition, the university confirmed to IL that campus police are conducting an investigation into a separate incident report. They did not release that report to IL, citing the ongoing investigation. Campus police spokesman Kenneth Brown told IL he wasn’t sure when the investigation into the second incident would be concluded.

Reached this evening, U of L athletics spokesman Kenny Klein had no comment.


Jones Dismissed by Louisville

Sunday, Feb. 22

The tumultuous relationship between Louisville and Chris Jones has come to a sudden end, with the school dismissing the senior point guard on Sunday afternoon.      

Kenny Klein, the school's senior associate athletic director for media relations, confirmed the news:

Jeff Greer of The Courier-Journal cited a source who said Jones is "devastated" by the news and added what Jones plans to do next:  

Last week, the Cardinals suspended Jones for an unspecified violation of team rules. After Jones missed the team's 69-59 loss to Syracuse on Wednesday, head coach Rick Pitino had an ominous choice of words, via The Courier-Journal's Greer and Tim Sullivan:

We missed him a lot but, you know, it's his selfishness that hurt the team. I'm not one that believes in suspensions, game suspensions. I believe in punishment where you get up in the morning and lift weights and curfew at night, but this was not a decision by me.

This was a decisionit's all cleared uphe could play the next game if he does what the assistant coaches tell him to do. If he doesn't he sits again. And I don't care if he sits the whole season, to tell you the truth. I could care less. Because if he doesn't do the right things and act like a Louisville man, he can move on and try to go to Belgium somewhere.

Pitino clearly wasn't joking around. Jones returned and played 36 minutes during Saturday's win against Miami, putting up 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, but that will be his last game in a Louisville uniform. 

ESPN's Jeff Goodman put it bluntly for how Jones' departure affects the No. 12 Cardinals: 

Jones is frustratingly erratic and inefficient on the offensive end at times, but there's no question he brings an electrifying, quick dynamic that puts pressure on opponents. On the season, he was averaging 13.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He led the team in assists and steals, was one of three main threats from outside the arc and was a tremendous defender. 

In his stead, the offense will belong to Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell, while freshman Quentin Snider will assume a much larger role. 

With Pitino at the helm, plenty of talent still on the roster and an aggressive, turnover-forcing defense, the Cardinals can still make some noise in March. But without Jones, they now undoubtedly face a much steeper climb.