Former Pierce College All-American Charged With Battery at Illinois

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Eight University of Illinois football players have been disciplined by Coach Mike White and two, including former Pierce College tight end Jeff Markland, face criminal charges after a disturbance at a fraternity house, authorities said Tuesday.

The Champaign County state's attorney's office said Markland and Michael Scully of Mount Prospect crashed a party at the Phi Kappa Psi house Saturday and injured several people.

Markland was charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery and two counts of misdemeanor battery. Scully was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery.

Each was jailed briefly before posting $100 bonds.

Markland, who attended Burroughs High in Burbank, was an All-American tight end at Pierce when it won the Southern California Conference championship in 1984. Markland redshirted last season at Illinois.

Ed Swartz, White's administrative assistant, said Tuesday there was "an incident this past weekend involving eight football players in a scuffle in and around a fraternity party."

He read a statement issued by White that said an internal investigation showed "certain student-athletes' conduct not consistent with the policies of our program."

White said their punishment includes community service work without pay, loss of spring break vacation privileges and other personal restrictions.

He would not identify the other six players.

Swartz said the football staff was shocked to learn that "this crash-the-party business and the resulting confrontations at this time of year have been going on for 10 years or more.

"There's a history of this war-like activity," said Swartz. "We are determined to do something about it, and that's why we moved in quickly. Our penalties are heavy."

Lt. Robert Soucie of the Champaign Police Department said police reports indicate that only Markland and Scully were involved in the physical confrontations at the fraternity house.

The charges allege that Markland punched two men in the face and kicked a third. Scully is accused of punching one man in the face and shoving a camera into the face of a second man.

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