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February 21, 2012

Players tell their side

Robbie Hummel did not hit a police officer.

It's that sort of rumor that the Boilermaker senior wanted to dash Tuesday while commenting for the first time about the early Friday morning incident outside a campus bar, an encounter that resulted in D.J. Byrd getting arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and Kelsey Barlow thrown off the team.

Hummel was present.

But despite there being reports that he and Byrd were brought into the conflict with bar security by Barlow, Hummel said he was merely present and was only seen outside Where Else while trying to play the role of peacekeeper. As multiple sources have confirmed in past days, Hummel was inside the bar when the scuffle outside started.

"I was trying to do my best to help out the situation, but really there was nothing I could do. I really wasn't involved."

"We shouldn't have been there, but we were. That's a mistake we made. I know it's something a lot of guys feel bad about and we'll move on."

Hummel said he understands how the spectacle of three very recognizable faces on campus being around as police arrived might breed varying pieces of information. Photos of the scene posted on Twitter showed all three players present, but gave no context about their presence.

Since then, Hummel said, rumors have run rampant.

"It's frustrating. I would imagine a lot of our fans are disappointed about what happened and we as players are disappointed as well," Hummel said. "But I didn't think it was fair to a lot of the guys involved what was being reported. That was probably the worst part, because people were thinking things that were just not true at all. It's not like we were out having some huge birthday celebration for Kelsey. That wasn't the case at all."

Neither, Hummel said, was the perception that Hummel and Byrd were acting as Barlow's "muscle" as the departed junior was trying to get back into a bar he'd previously been removed from.

"Come on, man," Hummel joked. "If you're going to a bar to fight somebody, I don't think you're grabbing me and D.J. Byrd."

Byrd was suspended for Sunday's game against Michigan State, but will return for Wednesday's meeting with Nebraska.

"It's an unfortunate situation that happened and looking back on it, I never should have been in a position for it to happen," Byrd said. "But it's over now and we're looking forward to these next couple games.

"It's about taking responsibility for your actions and being accountable. When you do that, it's easier to learn from a situation. I've moved on and ... am excited to get back out there and play."




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