Yesterday, WV Illustrated reported that a pair of Mountaineers safeties were caught up in a pair of off the field incident this past weekend. The arrests cast a dark cloud over a recently bright time in West Virginia football.
The Mountaineers recently completed one of the deepest recruiting classes in program history, bringing a renewed optimism to the program for the coming season. Now WVU fans are having their parade rained on by the arrests of safeties Travis Bell and Karl Joseph.
Travis Bell was arrested on domestic assault charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend this past Saturday. Bell has since been released from jail. The junior safety was expected to get increased playing time in the secondary this coming season to spell starters Joseph and Darwin Cook.
Karl Joseph was arrested on underage DUI charges and for possessing a fake ID. According to the Charleston Gazette, Joesph was arrested on Sunday after reportedly blowing a 0.054, in excess of the legal limit for those under 21 (0.02) yet still safely below the legal limit for those 21 and older (0.08).
Further complicating matters, Joseph was in possession of a fake ID. But it was not his own fake ID. Joseph was in possession of Isaiah Bruce’s ID. The report does not explicitly state whether Bruce’s ID was fake.
Joseph and Bruce were the two shining bright spots on a miserable defense this past season. Both freshman started every game for the Mountaineers and are widely considered to be the cornerstones of the WVU defense for years to come.
The arrests of Joseph and Bell will certainly come with consequences both on and off the field. It would not be surprising for coach Holgorsen to suspend these players for a couple games this coming season or worse. In addition, there is a possibility that Isaiah Bruce could face disciplinary action dependent on the circumstances of how his ID ended up in Joseph’s possession.