Mike Hughes telling teams about sexual assault accusation at North Carolina

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Every year, a talented player begins to slip on draft night and people on the outside begin to wonder why.

Generally, it’s because the people on the inside are privy to information about character or injury concerns that aren’t widely known to the general public.

That was the case last year with Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (a top-five talent who slid to the back of the first round and has since been arrested for three felony counts of domestic violence). But according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, there doesn’t appear to be a case that dramatic this year, though there are some top prospects who have tried to state their cases with teams.

One example is Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes. He has told teams that he reason he left North Carolina two years ago was a sexual assault allegation that did not lead to criminal charges.

Considering the current climate, teams are reasonably concerned about that, but the consensus seems to be that teams believe Hughes’ version of events. That doesn’t there won’t be an outcry if his accuser comes forward, but he’s getting in front of the story by telling his side.

Hughes told Pelissero that he has text messages and a female witness to validate his version. There were no charges filed because of insufficient evidence. There was an initial Title IX hearing at UNC about the case, after which he decided it was in his best interest to change scenery, going to a junior college and then Central Florida.

“Obviously, I have to tell them everything that happened and everything that went into why I left and also what I’ve learned from it,” Hughes said. “What I tell teams is that they won’t have any issues with me if they draft me. I haven’t had any problems with the law or anything since I was at North Carolina.”

He did serve a one-game suspension in 2015 for a misdemeanor assault charge (which was dropped after he did community service).

Hughes is generally considered to be a late-first to early-second-round prospect, and it will be interesting to see how the revelation changes that, if at all.

9 responses to “Mike Hughes telling teams about sexual assault accusation at North Carolina

  1. Distgusting how often this is happening for college and NFL players. It’s supposed to be okay if there aren’t any charges anymore. Just because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict or the school keeps the player out of jail it’s supposed to be okay. For all of us with daughters in a major University it’s a scary thought that a lot of this gets swept under the rug because schools are trying to save face and many girls are afraid to go through the process.

  2. Wouldn’t touch him. He’still a convict who beat someone up and was found guilty in court. Now he’s got a civil assault case that may be lurking around.
    Do not pick him.
    Ask the 49ers how Reuben Foster worked out?

  3. It’s always interesting to see the difference when a player is able to stay in line after having something like this in his past… You look at Jameis Winston, who has done pretty well despite having a checkered past. Then you see someone like Foster, who I honestly thought would be fine, and he’s been a disaster. That’s something to think about for teams that are considering Hughes, Arden Key and others with various issues in their past.

  4. Red flags are red flags, but the bottom line business of the NFL doesn’t really care. In some instances it’s actually a way to do business. They can get a highly talented player on a cheaper pay scale, and if he resorts back to his previous behavior, cut him and incur little loss. If he excels, the support group the team surrounded him with was influential in his progress. J

  5. Sometimes a case that is dropped due to insufficient evidence can be worse for the defendant than if it actually went to court. The defendant has no real platform to produce evidence that demonstrates their innocence. The jury that is the public will still assume that the defendant simply got lucky and that there is never smoke without fire.

  6. Sadly a lot of these cases can either go both ways, that’s why I refuse to judge somebody without all the facts. There have been a lot of cases in which athletes have been brought up on false allegations, I can’t crucify a kid without sufficient evidence.

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