ASU recruit Durant sentenced, now awaits decision of school to determine future
By Cuyler Meade, Cronkite News | Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, a source incorrectly stated the delivery of the final decision by the university. That decision will be provided only to Davon Durant. Also, specific dates for the disciplinary process have been replaced in the story below by approximate dates based on publicly available information about the process.
The future at Arizona State for Davon Durant, the school’s five-star football recruit, could receive some clarity by the beginning of July.
A final decision on Durant’s status as a student could come by July 1, following allegations of domestic violence and Monday’s sentencing for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
The athletic department suspended Durant from the football team after his March arrest and said Monday that it will not make a decision on his potential reinstatement until after the university has completed its investigative process. ASU football’s director of player personnel, Marcus Castro-Walker, was present at the sentencing hearing and left with Durant. He declined a request for comment.
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge sentenced Durant on Monday to two years of supervised probation after Durant pleaded guilty May 28 to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. All other charges against Durant were dismissed.
Monday’s sentencing also included a requirement that Durant enter a domestic violence program. He cannot have contact with his girlfriend, Kelsi Langley, until he enrolls in the program.
The charges triggered an investigation by the school that resulted in a confidential decision by the university regarding Durant’s status as a student. The school’s decision was appealed in a hearing on May 29 with the University Hearing Board. The hearing board had until June 3 to deliver its recommendation to the university, at which point the university had up to 20 business days to deliver a decision. That means Durant can expect a decision by July 1, unless the university determines more investigation is necessary. The university’s Student Disciplinary Procedures state that sanctions can include suspension, expulsion or the revocation of a degree.
When the final decision is reached, it will be delivered to Durant.
Durant’s attorney, Benjamin Taylor, says Durant is currently enrolled at the university and taking classes.
Durant, a junior transfer from Butler Community College in Kansas, was originally charged with aggravated assault, a felony, and disorderly conduct following an incident on March 7 in which he was alleged to have assaulted and strangled Langley.
Langley, who did not respond to requests this week for comment, spoke at the Monday’s court hearing, declaring that she wants to put the incident behind her.
“I’ve already been through a lot,” Langley said, “and the court’s put us through a lot, and I’m ready to put it all behind us and move forward.”
In comments to Cronkite News on March 16, the day Durant’s suspension from the football team was announced, Langley said the allegations she had made were false.
“When the police showed up, I told them what I told them out of spite,” Langley told Cronkite News in the March phone interview. “I knew that telling my original story would get him in trouble. Really just everything I said was out of anger.”
She said though she had initially told police that Durant had hit and strangled her, she’d returned to the Tempe Police Department two days later and recanted her entire statement.
“He never touched me,” Langley said then. “What he’s being tried for and accused of, it’s a misunderstanding based off of my false statements.”
Durant did not speak in court on Monday. Both Langley and Taylor said in court that she and Durant want to continue their relationship.
“He’s never been more remorseful about this,” Taylor, Durant’s attorney, said in court. “He has learned a tremendous amount.”
Taylor declined to speak to the media, instead reading from a prepared statement issued after the hearing.
“Life teaches us all many lessons,” Taylor said. “This is one for Davon, as he seeks to become the best possible person, which means a good boyfriend now, and one day the best husband, father and leader possible.”