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Another Hurricanes Player Suspended

June 25, 1996

MIAMI (AP) _ Ricky Perry, a Miami tackle arrested on felony gun charges in November and accused of beating up his date last week, was suspended indefinitely Tuesday by Hurricanes coach Butch Davis.

The disciplinary action follows the suspensions last week of three other Miami players involved in the assault of a track athlete.

Athletic director Paul Dee said the school became aware of Perry’s November arrest just recently. That case surfaced publicly after Perry was charged Friday with hitting his 17-year-old date in the face.

Several members of the university board of trustees rejected the suggestion that school officials may have attempted to cover up Perry’s earlier arrest.

``I would be flabbergasted if Paul Dee and Butch Davis knew anything about it and kept it a secret,″ trustee Nick Crane said. ``They do not do those kinds of things. They are dedicated to a clean program.″

Davis announced Perry’s indefinite suspension ``pending further investigation,″ but he and Dee declined to answer questions regarding when the school first learned of the November arrest.

Police said Perry, 23, held a loaded gun to another man’s throat and slapped him in a dispute over money. The 6-foot-7, 330-pound offensive tackle was charged by Opa-locka police with aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated assault, carrying a concealed weapon and criminal mischief.

Opa-locka police didn’t notify the university of Perry’s arrest, police spokeswoman Alison Hibbert said. The Dade State Attorney’s Office didn’t contact the school either, prosecutor Margaret Henghold said.

``I’m not sure there’s even a note in the file that he’s a football player,″ Henghold said.

Perry’s attorney, Mark Hildebrandt, declined to comment.

Because Perry’s arrest occurred in Opa-locka, rather than near the campus, it’s reasonable to believe Dee and Davis learned of the matter just recently, university trustee David Kraslow said.

``Look at all the journalists you have who focus so heavily on the football program at the university, and this escaped their attention since November,″ said Kraslow, former publisher of The Miami News.

The Hurricanes have been under increased scrutiny lately because of their run-ins with the law. Perry, a senior this fall, is third starter to be suspended in the past week.

He was arrested Nov. 5 following a dispute with a friend, Ancel Miller. A police report gave this account:

Perry, upset because he believed Miller had stolen money from his car, went to an apartment where Miller was sleeping. Perry took out a semiautomatic weapon and told a woman answering the door to wake up Miller or ``I will blast this bitch up.″

When Miller appeared, Perry stuck the gun under Miller’s chin and began slapping him. Police then arrived and made the arrest.

Perry’s trial, scheduled to begin Monday, likely will be delayed because of his arrest last week. He faces charges of battery and burglary in an altercation with his date at her home late Thursday.