(Columbia) - Two former members of the USC baseball team face multiple theft charges and have been permanently dismissed from the South Carolina Baseball team, according to Coach Ray Tanner.
In a news conference Tuesday, Coach Tanner said he is not changing his mind in handing down the punishment against outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall and pitcher Nick Fuller
Tanner was noticeably emotional during his comments, even stopping at one point. "There's no explanation for it," Tanner said.
He said he was not sure if the former players were still enrolled in the University of South Carolina.
Tanner said both former players and their families have apologized to him about the situation. "I tried to talk to them as a coach, as a parent," Tanner said, "And they were honest with me. They said it was a mistake." Tanner said the stolen goods have been returned.
Tanner revealed the allegations against the former players in a written statement Monday night. "This is a very unfortunate situation," he wrote. "Both of these young men come from outstanding families and I feel bad for their parents. It is inappropriate for me to make any other comments, as this case is now in the hands of the legal authorities, but they are no longer part of the Gamecock baseball program."
Each player was charged with burglary and grand larceny. The two were charged with entering a dorm room during spring break.
Police say they took a flat-screen tv, a Playstation 3, and DVDS. The total property was valued at $2,000. Fuller was also charged in the theft of three desktop computers, valued at $4,500. Those computers were from the USC Academic Enrichment Center. Police say Fuller also took $3,100 in cash from the USC Baseball coaches' office.
Fuller was charged with a total of three counts of burglary and three counts of grand larceny. Grand larceny is defined as theft of a value of greater than $1,000, and less than $5,000. Both 18-year-old Chisenhall and 19-year-old Fuller appeared in bond court after 8 p.m. Monday night. Chisenhall's bond was set at $5,000 and Fuller's bond was set at $15,000. Tuesday afternoon, the two posted bond.
Chisenhall, a left-handed hitting outfielder, started in 19 of 20 games for the Gamecocks, hitting at a .313 clip with one home run and 13 RBI. Chisenhall was named the SEC Player of the Week for the first week of the season after USC won its series against UNC-Wilmington.
Fuller, a right-handed pitcher, has made six appearances, all in relief. In five innings of work, he did not allow a hit or run while walking seven and striking out seven.