Report: Southern Miss HC Jay Hopson Attempted to Sign Transfer Accused of Rape

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

KNOXVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 04:  Head coach Jay Hopson of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles looks on against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson recruited a junior college transfer accused of raping two women at knifepoint in 2015, but the player's application was denied by the admissions office after finding out about his past, per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.

The sexual assault case against running back Charles West fell apart after the two women struggled to testify in front of him and did "not take the witness stand for a trial," according to Jennifer Emily of the Dallas Morning News.

Per Emily, "both criminal cases were downgraded to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon." West pled guilty to each case and received probation as part of a deal struck with prosecutors.

According to Auerbach, Hopson knew of the player's past but did not notify the school. West signed and was set to enroll in the school until the athletics department discovered his history and informed the university's admissions office.

Southern Miss was also the only school to offer a scholarship to the Garden City Community College player, who was a 3-star recruit out of high school.

The case follows a pattern for Hopson, who has been criticized for the additions he has attempted to make to his football program. Hopson tried to hire former Baylor coach Art Briles as the team's offensive coordinator until the move was blocked by the school, per Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.

Briles lost his job in 2016 after an extended list of "allegations of sexual assault, domestic violence and other acts of violence involving several Baylor football players" were uncovered by Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach of ESPN.

Hopson also recruited a registered sex offender to play for him while coaching Alcorn State.

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