A former Vanderbilt player who was arrested on armed robbery and burglary charges last November has landed back on a college football roster.
Safety Andre Simmons was listed on Old Dominion’s roster as the Monarchs opened preseason camp on Monday.
Simmons was suspended indefinitely and later dismissed from the team after he was one of two suspects arrested for breaking into a Vanderbilt dorm room and stealing approximately $5,000 while holding another student at gunpoint. In March, the burglary charge was dropped and the armed robbery charge was lowered to theft over $1,000. He was also placed on three years of probation.
Simmons was at Vanderbilt for two seasons, playing as a reserve safety in 10 games in 2010 and serving on special teams last year. The 6-foot, 205-pounder from Lorton, Va. returns to his home state to help the Monarchs, who will move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013.
“The coaches at Vanderbilt described this as an unfortunate situation," Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder told the Virginian-Pilot. "One of the coaches said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. His dad’s in the military. I asked Andre and his father to meet me in my office. When he was there, it was all yes sir and no sir.We feel comfortable that this was an isolated incident. Part of my job as a coach, and an educator, is to give second chances.
“...It’s been made very clear to him that there won’t be any tolerance for any type of a situation here. He understands that, he understands he’s got to do things the right way, and I’m confident he will. “He was remorseful about what happened. He wants to do well, to earn a degree and have a good football career.”