Fell on football field after plea agreement reached

A UNA football player arrested on charges of theft, escape and assault of a police officer in June, accepted a plea agreement and is back on the field, officials said.

Steven Levi Fell, a starting defensive back for the Lions, was allowed to plead out on misdemeanor charges of third-degree theft and third degree escape, and a felony charge of second-degree assault of a police officer, said Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly.

“After reviewing the evidence in the case and consulting with the arresting officer, I agreed to allow him to plead guilty as a youthful offender,” Connolly said. “He entered his plea July 17 and was treated accordingly as allowed by law.”

When any member of UNA athletics is charged with a felony, he or she is typically suspended from the program until the legal process is completed, said Athletic Director Mark Linder.

“In general terms, legal issues have to be resolved prior to an athlete being allowed back on the field,” Linder said.

He confirmed Fell has returned to practice.

Director of Student Conduct Kim Greenway said when a student is charged with a felony, he or she goes through the Student Conduct process, and if found responsible for his or her actions, is sanctioned accordingly.

Whether a student is found guilty by the court system or not has no effect on Student Conduct cases, Greenway said.

“The outcome of the legal system generally has no effect on the university conduct process, except that the student, if charged with a felony, would be allowed to have an attorney present as an adviser, not as a participant, during the hearing process,” she said.

She said because of regulations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the findings of Student Conduct cases cannot be released except to the parties involved.

“A school may not generally disclose personally identifiable information from an eligible student’s education records to a third party unless the eligible student has provided written consent,” she said.