Bison to face charge

JULIE HORBAL -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

A University of Manitoba athlete who recently came off an athletic suspension for conduct violation is scheduled to appear in court on a charge stemming from a spring bar brawl, Sun Media has learned.

In an e-mail obtained by Sun Media, a source confirms Randy Simmons -- the Bisons football team star receiver and member of last season's basketball squad -- will make a court appearance next month to face a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Saul Simmonds, the 25-year-old player's defence lawyer, confirmed his client has been served with an appearance notice, but said no charges have yet been laid.

"When someone is served by an appearance notice, between now and the time they appear in court the Crown will determine if the person will in fact be charged," he said. The lawyer could not confirm Simmons' court date last night.

Simmons was suspended indefinitely in June by the U of M athletic department after reports surfaced he was one of a few Bisons involved in a May nightclub fight that landed a security guard in hospital with a head injury.

The e-mail states Simmons, a product of Saginaw, Mich., turned himself in to Winnipeg police on Aug. 10.

But Simmonds maintains his client "is not guilty on any charges."

The athletic suspension was lifted by the dean of physical education after three months and tireless work by Simmons and student advocacy groups -- just in time for the receiver to record a sparkling performance in the Bisons' Sept. 1 season opener.

Bison head coach Brian Dobie declined to speculate whether Simmons will continue playing once he makes his first court appearance.

"That's difficult for me to comment on. I haven't had that opportunity from my realm of experience," Dobie said "... I'd refer to the process within the university because that's really a little above my jurisdiction."

Dobie said any information he's received regarding Simmons' involvement in the brawl has been hearsay and admitted he "really knows very little" of what's happening on the legal end of things.

"Our concern is the internal suspension," he said. "The suspension has been lifted."

A 29-year-old man not believed to be a Bison was arrested May 17 and faces charges of assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats in relation to the incident.


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