By Joshua Sills
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Januay 29, 2003
Players accused of robbing Kansas vending machine
Saturday afternoon the Wildcat men's basketball team stole the game from the Kansas Jayhawks, coming back to win by 17, but now the hotel they were staying at has accused some of them of stealing more than just a win.
Lawrence police responded to a call from the Marriott Spring Hill Suites in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday after a hotel guest allegedly saw three UA basketball players stealing 80 candy bars and less than $100 from a vending machine inside the hotel, said Stephanie Bowler, the hotel's general manager.
The witness, Stuart Schwartz, of Chicago, could not be reached for comment.
UA players and athletic staff said they were not involved in the incident, but UA assistant coaches paid for the candy, said Lt. David Cobb, of the Lawrence Police Department.
"This is nothing other than hearsay and rumors. They (the Lawrence, Kansas Police) will hear from our attorney," said UA head coach Lute Olson.
The Wildcats had already checked out of the hotel and were at Allen Fieldhouse preparing for their game against the University of Kansas when police arrived at the hotel.
Following the Wildcat's 91-74 win over Kansas, Lawrence police met UA coaches in the locker room and questioned them about the alleged incident.
Unidentified assistant coaches then returned to the hotel and paid $80 to Front Desk Supervisor Michael Moore for the candy, Cobb said.
"I don't know how we got the blame for it," said senior forward Luke Walton. "I was there to play basketball, not steal anything."
Freshman guard Hassan Adams also said he was not involved in the alleged incident and did not know police were in the locker room after the game because he had already left.
"I don't know anything about it," said sophomore guard Salim Stoudamire.
UA head coach Lute Olson said none of the players will be penalized.
"The hotel declined to press charges after the restitution was paid," Cobb said.
Maxx Wolfson contributed to this report.