Basketball Player Charged With Rape

Monday, October 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Antione Whelchel of Murray State was suspended from the team Monday following his arrest on a rape charge.

Whelchel was freed on bail during a hearing Monday. He faces a Nov. 21 hearing to determine whether enough evidence exists to send the case to the grand jury.

Whelchel was arrested Saturday and charged with raping a woman who attends Murray State.

``He will have no contact with the team for however long it takes for this matter to run its course in the judicial system,'' athletic director E.W. Dennison said. ``We regret that this incident occurred and we take such allegations very seriously.''

This was to be Whelchel's first season of competition at Murray State. The 6-foot-5 sophomore forward from Gainesville, Ga., was academically ineligible last season.

In an affidavit to police, the woman said she and Whelchel were attending a birthday party for another Murray State basketball player. The woman said she began playing drinking games at the party. The woman said she woke up in Whelchel's room and that he was having sex with her.

Whelchel became the second Murray State basketball player to face criminal charges in recent weeks.

Last month, guard Ray Cunningham was charged with burglary, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment. Cunningham is practicing with the team but has been suspended for the first three games, Dennison said.

A woman accused Cunningham of knocking on her door and attacking her after entering the dorm room, according to court documents.

Dennison said Cunningham's three-game suspension was based on what the school knows about the case. The rest is based on accusations that will be decided in court, he said.

Cunningham, a 6-foot-5 guard, is one of Murray State's two returning starters this season.