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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Police Say Punter Told Friend to Lie

September 15, 2006|From the Associated Press

Northern Colorado's backup punter asked a friend to lie about his whereabouts the night the starting punter was stabbed in the parking lot of his apartment complex, according to a police affidavit obtained Thursday.

Mitch Cozad is accused of stabbing rival Rafael Mendoza in his kicking leg Monday night in Evans, Colo., a small town adjacent to Greeley and about 50 miles north of Denver.

Cozad, of Wheatland, Wyo., was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree assault. He remained free on $30,000 bond, and Weld County prosecutors said they have until Sept. 22 to formally charge him.

Mendoza, treated and released from a Greeley hospital, will sit out at least Saturday's game at Texas State.

Cozad has been suspended from the university and evicted from his dorm room. Weld County officials said he had been granted permission to stay at his mother's Wheatland, Wyo., home, where no one answered the door Thursday.

The 3 1/2 -page arrest affidavit outlines a plot that had taken shape over at least a week.

According to the affidavit, another kicker, Michael York, told police that he provided Mendoza's address to Cozad last week, thinking he was interested in a rental apartment.

That same week, Angela Vogel, identified as a friend of Cozad's, said he "was extremely upset about issues with his football team" and that Cozad told her "to lie to police and to his mother about his whereabouts on the evening of September 11, 2006," the affidavit said.

During an interview with police Tuesday, the affidavit said, Cozad allegedly also was sending text messages such as "What did you say?" to Vogel while she, too, was speaking with investigators.

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South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier selected experience over youth, choosing senior Syvelle Newton to start at quarterback over freshman Chris Smelley. Newton takes over for Blake Mitchell, who was arrested on suspicion of simple assault and suspended from the team.... Adam Austin will start at quarterback in place of injured Willie Tuitama when Arizona plays host to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday night. Tuitama sustained a concussion in last week's 45-3 loss at Louisiana State. ... Miami left tackle Reggie Youngblood will not play against No. 12 Louisville on Saturday because of an ankle injury.... Iowa receiver Calvin Davis is expected to sit out the rest of the season after tearing his right Achilles' tendon.

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