Colts Knew Bobby Okereke Had Been Accused of Sexual Assault in 2015 Before Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 18: Bobby Okereke #20 of the Stanford Cardinal looks on during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on October 18, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. Stanford won 20-13. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the Indianapolis Colts selected Bobby Okereke in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, they were aware he had been accused of sexual assault in 2015. 

Colts general manager Chris Ballard addressed the topic Wednesday, per ESPN.com's Mike Wells:

"When we looked at it and talked about it and talking to the young man, an incident from four years ago, no discipline by the university [and] he was never charged with a crime. And then you look at his track record from that point to now. Team captain. Lott Trophy quarterfinalist. He graduated with a degree in management and engineering. He's working on his master's. From 2015 to 2019, from everything we gathered and high recommendations that we got, it felt appropriate to take him."

The New York TimesJoe Drape and Marc Tracy reported in December 2016 a female student at Stanford had accused an unnamed football player of rape.

The student took the allegations to Stanford's disciplinary board. Three members of the five-member panel determined the player assaulted the woman, which failed to meet the four-member threshold necessary for taking the case further.

The Fountain Hopper, an independent student-run newspaper at Stanford, identified Okereke as the player in question Tuesday and noted he stayed with the football team as the disciplinary process was unfolding. He appeared in 18 games between the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Steve Campbell, the Colts' head of communications, issued a statement to Fountain Hopper about Okereke: "Considering our extensive due diligence, we felt comfortable selecting him."

According to Wells, Ballard confirmed nobody from the Colts spoke with the woman from the case or her attorney prior to the draft. Ballard said he didn't feel the need to investigate the matter further because Okereke didn't face legal charges or formal discipline from Stanford.