Illini guard arrested

By Erin Foley

Rich McBride, a guard on the Illinois men’s basketball team, was charged Friday with driving under the influence, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics said Monday.

The case is currently under review by head coach Bruce Weber and the University athletics department. According to the Sports Information Department, Weber has indicated that McBride will likely be suspended for an undetermined number of games with additional internal penalties to be determined.

The State Journal-Register reported Monday that McBride was cited with a DUI and improper lane usage.

“I apologize to my family, teammates, coaches and the University community for the negative light I have brought to our program,” McBride said in a statement released Monday. “I used poor judgment, and I take full responsibility for my actions; I realize this is a serious situation.”

McBride, a native of Springfield, Ill., was a team starter last year and a reserve during his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior, he started all 33 games and ranked third on the team in scoring with 10.0 points per game.

“I am extremely disappointed in Rich’s actions last week,” Weber said in a formal statement. “We are continuing to review the situation and there will be severe penalties forthcoming.”

According to the athletic department, McBride participated in preseason workouts with other guards on the team and lifted weights at the Ubben Basketball Complex on Monday afternoon.

The former Lanphier High School star will continue to workout at the facility until team practices officially begin Oct. 13 with Illini Madness at the Assembly Hall.

No decision has been made as to whether McBride will participate in formal practices.

McBride missed the start of his freshman season while serving a four-game suspension. While the athletic department issued no specific reason for the suspension other than “violating team rules,” the suspension came after a Champaign police investigation dealing with an off-campus burglary.

Former teammates Aaron Spears and Luther Head, who is now with the Houston Rockets, were also suspended for four games before the 2003-04 season.

No charges were filed in the burglary case.

“Now that I am a senior I’m being counted on as a leader, and I have let my teammates down,” McBride said in the statement. “I will work hard to restore my reputation and move forward from here.”