After returning a punt 92 yards for a game-tying touchdown with 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s Bedlam game, Oklahoma State junior Tyreek Hill told reporters what he had just done “didn’t feel real at the time. I was crying tears of joy.”
What Hill allegedly did to his pregnant girlfriend five days later in Stillwater didn’t feel real either and left the victim crying tears of pain.
Perhaps the fastest, most lethal weapon in college football this season, Hill’s punt return forced overtime and eventually led to the Cowboys’ 38-35 upset over Oklahoma in Norman.
At 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, the diminutive Hill instantaneously became the biggest man on campus. On Monday, he was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week and The Associated Press selected him as Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and the Second-Team All-Big 12 punt returner/kick returner.
Hill was able to retain his BMOC status for all of five days after dashing past an arch rival foolish enough to have punted to him for a second time after a penalty.
There will be no second chance for Hill as an all-purpose back or sprinter at OSU, however. He has been dismissed from both the football and track teams.
Shortly after 11 p.m. on Thursday, officers arrested Hill at his apartment on a felony complaint of domestic abuse by strangulation for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, who was eight weeks pregnant.
The 20-year-old woman arrived at the Stillwater Medical Center emergency room with bruising below her left eye, upper lip, beneath her chin and around her neck. She also complained of head and stomach pains and was concerned her unborn child might have been harmed.
The woman, who stated she had been dating Hill about six months and that he is the father of her unborn child, was treated and released from the hospital. The status of her unborn child was not released.
According to an arrest report and probable cause affidavit filed in Payne County court, the woman told police a verbal altercation escalated and Hill threw her “like a rag doll.” She alleges Hill punched her several times in the face and stomach, put both hands around her neck, banged her head against the wall and threw her to the ground. Hill then allegedly picked up the woman by her hair and put her in a headlock. The woman stated she cried, “Let me go, I can’t breathe,” several times before Hill relented.
The woman said she did not immediately call police after Thursday night’s alleged assault and instead sought medical treatment. Her identity is being withheld.
The woman told police similar abuse from Hill occurred last summer, but she did not report it. She also said Hill has a “volatile temper and that he thought it was OK to punch and shake her.”
Police reported Hill, 20, was arrested without incident, but remarked to officers “he was being arrested for being black and she was white.”
Hill was formally charged Friday afternoon in Payne County court, posted bond and was released from jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 13 at 1:30 p.m. A judge ordered Hill to have no contact with the victim until further notice.
Stillwater police report Hill faces 1-3 years of imprisonment and/or a $3,000 fine if found guilty of the domestic abuse by strangulation charge. Hill’s legal consequences could worsen, pending the status of the woman’s unborn child.
After Hill was charged Friday, OSU released the following statement at 6:31 p.m.:
“Oklahoma State University does not tolerate domestic abuse or violence. Based on the evidence and the serious allegations that have been made, Head Football Coach Mike Gundy has announced that Tyreek Hill has been dismissed from the OSU football team. He also has been dismissed from the track team. The allegations are under investigation by Stillwater Police and by the OSU Office of Student Conduct. Those processes will proceed independently.”
According to the Student Code of Conduct, OSU will strongly recommend suspension or expulsion for students found responsible for “physical violence of any nature against any person, on or off campus.”
Credit OSU for swiftly punting Hill off the football team as the Cowboys prepare to face Washington in the Cactus Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 2, but there was no other choice given the escalating cases of domestic abuse involving athletes these days.
Hill’s stock in the NFL Draft undoubtedly will plummet, potentially costing him millions of dollars. His chances of making the U.S. Olympic team in the 100- and 200-meter dashes also are severely damaged.