Former BGSU basketball player confesses to theft

A former Falcons basketball player was arrested Monday night on theft and forgery charges.

Lionel Sullivan, a 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman from Detroit, played forward for the BGSU men’s basketball team until being dismissed from the team in late December.

Now he’s being charged with using another student’s BGSU ID to buy an X-Box 360 and two video games at the University Bookstore.

According to University police reports, a Falcons football player reported someone had stolen his ID before winter break. After getting a new ID, he tried to buy textbooks on Jan. 9 and got an unpleasant surprise – he didn’t have enough money in his account to pay for the books.

A bookstore manager told the athlete that someone used the ID to buy a gaming system and two video games , Madden NFL ’07 and NBA 2K7, leaving him with only $47.32 on his $600 account. He told the cashier he didn’t buy these items.

After they suspected Sullivan might have been involved in the theft, police visited Sullivan’s dorm on Jan. 13. An officer noticed all three of these items in his room.

On Jan. 18, a detective talked to Sullivan on the phone about the case.

Initially, Sullivan denied buying the gaming system or the games, but he eventually confessed.

Sullivan told the detective he and the football player were walking to class before winter break when the other student’s BGSU ID fell out of his pocket. Sullivan said he picked up the card and shopped at the University Bookstore that day, police reports say.

On Monday, Sullivan refused to bring the items to the campus police station and told the officer to come to his dorm to get the games.

Two officers went to Kohl Hall and arrested Sullivan for forgery and theft. He was taken to the Wood County Justice Center. A preliminary hearing for the case will be held on Feb. 2.

In an e-mail to The BG News yesterday, Assistant Athletic Director J.D. Campbell declined to comment on the arrest.

“We do not believe it is appropriate to comment on legal matters until a situation is resolved through the appropriate channels both on-campus and off,” he wrote.

In the five games he played in this season, Sullivan scored an average of 1.2 points and averaged six minutes on the court per game. His last game was Dec. 9 against Central Arkansas.

Sports Editor John Turner and Assistant Sports Editor Colin Wilson contributed to this report.