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Team sorting out arrests

The USF basketball team is still in the process of gathering information regarding the arrests of sophomores Mike Burwell and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, who were charged with obtaining food with intent to defraud, a second-degree misdemeanor, after leaving a Tampa restaurant without paying their bill early Thursday morning.

Coach Stan Heath said in a statement released by USF on Thursday, “If this happened, it is inappropriate behavior for our players in our program. After gathering all of the facts, we will immediately take the appropriate action.”

According to a police report, Burwell and Fitzpatrick left Village Inn on North Dale Mabry Highway without paying a $29.91 bill. Eating near them were two plainclothes officers who noticed them leave without paying and pulled the two over shortly after they left the restaurant. Each was released on $250 bond Thursday.

Burwell, a guard from New Jersey who saw limited action last season, is expected to compete for significant playing time next season after the losses of starting guards Dominique Jones, Chris Howard and Mike Mercer.

Fitzpatrick, a forward from King High School in Tampa, made an impact as a freshman, starting in 22 games and averaging 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, while leading the team with 32 blocks last season.