"Striking stats" on college football and crime

For the past six months, CBS News and Sports Illustrated have investigated the criminal background of college football players and, as CBS New Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian reported on "The Early Show" Wednesday, turned up "some alarming truths" when it comes to the sport and crime.

One case in point -- a 17-year-old girl was alone in her family home last March, out sick from school, when two men broke in.

The girl could be heard on a call to 911 saying, "They're in the house! ... I hear them in the kitchen."

Miami police quickly responded to the scene, and 18-year-old high school student Antwan Darling was arrested at gunpoint and charged with felony burglary.

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Court records reveal that Darling, now a freshman linebacker at the University of Cincinnati, had been arrested twice before, for marijuana possession, to which he pleaded no contest, and on a weapons charge that was later dropped. In the burglary case, Darling completed an intervention program.

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The school evidently knew nothing about Darling's record.

Jeff Benedict, co-author of the Sports Illustrated cover story says, "We found that, in many cases, even the coaches don't know the full extent of players' criminal histories."

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Darling's criminal history was just a small part of a ground-breaking, six-month CBS News-Sports Illustrated investigation focusing on crime and recruiting in big-time college football and, says Keteyian, "What we found was striking."

Through an exhaustive series of background checks, the probe discovered that seven percent of the 2,837 players on the magazine's 2010 top 25 pre-season football rosters had been in trouble with the law. More than 200 players had either been arrested or formally cited by police. Thirty-nine percent of those who'd been arrested had been charged with serious crimes such as assault and battery, domestic violence, burglary, cocaine possession or DUI.

"Another startling number," Keteyian added, was that, "only two schools in our sample did any kind of regular criminal background check on their recruits."

"I think," Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports told CBS News, "as a general population, these are going to be stunning statistics to try to absorb, and policy changes will hopefully come about as a result."

Asked by "Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge what the NCAA might do in the wake of the study, Keteyian responded, "To their credit, Mark Emmert, the new president of the NCAA, has already been alerted to this and has called it 'completely unacceptable.' I would venture to guess there's going to be some changes coming very soon, whether they're by (individual college football) conference or by legislate by the association (the NCAA)."

Tune in to "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" for much more on this tonight.

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