Dolphins Rookie Suspended After His Arrest In Burglary

Posted: December 17, 1999

Miami Dolphins rookie Cecil Collins, who played only six games in college because of legal trouble, was arrested yesterday in Davie, Fla., on charges that threaten his NFL career.

A married couple accused Collins of climbing through a bedroom window into their apartment about 5 a.m. He was charged with burglary and suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins.

"I just made a mistake," Collins said after being released on $10,000 bond.

The couple said Collins had been annoying the woman for the last two months, repeatedly asking her out even after she told him she was married. The alleged burglary is similar to a felony case that placed Collins on probation in Louisiana, where court records portray him as a sexual predator.

Collins was charged with two counts of burglary at an occupied dwelling after being chased out of the apartment of Ronald and Tina Nolte. Collins was arrested a short time later at a nearby apartment he shares with his pregnant girlfriend and their 3-year-old daughter.

Additional charges were possible, Lt. Gary Killam said.

Collins has been sidelined since breaking a leg Nov. 14 against the Buffalo Bills. He wasn't expected to play Sunday against San Diego.

If authorities determine Collins violated probation, he could face several years in prison. The burglary charge is a second-degree felony carrying a possible 15-year prison sentence.

"He has been undergoing regular counseling ever since he joined the Dolphins, and I thought he was making progress," Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson said.

Police gave this account:

The Noltes awoke to find Collins in their bedroom. Ronald Nolte chased Collins, who dove out the window he had entered, landed in wet grass and ran away.

Nolte ran out his front door, found Collins at the back of the apartment building and confronted him. Collins denied entering the Noltes' apartment and left.

Tina Nolte called police. When officers arrived, Ronald Nolte identified Collins by name as the intruder.

Collins, who also lives in the gated complex five minutes from the team's training complex, first met Tina Nolte while working out at a gym, said her attorney, Jim Lewis.

"He kept coming up to her and bothering her," Lewis said. "It was annoying but not threatening."

No weapons were involved in the burglary, police said. Collins was not asked to submit to an alcohol or drug test.

Collins was charged twice in summer 1998 with unauthorized entry at his apartment complex in Baton Rouge, La. Both cases involved female residents, including a 17-year-old who accused Collins of exposing himself and rubbing against her.

Considered a first-round talent, Collins slipped to the fifth round of the April draft because of his problems. He played only four games at Louisiana State and two at McNeese State.

Terms of Collins' probation require him to perform 300 hours of community service, and he has totaled nearly 100 hours since joining the Dolphins in April, said Stu Weinstein, the Dolphins' security investigator.

Collins has worked on housing construction projects, talked to youth groups and visited hospitals. He also attended regular counseling sessions.

Redskins. Veteran wide receiver Irving Fryar, 37, said he was considering postponing his retirement for another year and playing next season.

The former Eagle said the fate of coach Norv Turner and Turner's staff would be a factor in his decision about whether to return for a 17th NFL season.

Vikings. Wide receiver Cris Carter's cast was removed so team doctors could assess the soreness, swelling and mobility of his severely sprained right ankle.

He was placed in a walking boot and missed his third straight day of practice.

Although he's officially listed as doubtful, nobody in the Minnesota organization is giving him any chance of playing against Green Bay on Monday night.

Without being asked whether his injury is season-threatening, Carter broached the subject himself earlier this week, saying: "If I can't play the rest of the year, I've had a great year."

Carter has started 110 consecutive games since missing the last four games of 1992 with a broken collarbone. He's had numerous close calls over a 13-year career, including a painful hip injury this season.

Jake Reed, benched last month for dropping too many passes, will start along with Randy Moss, with third receiver Matthew Hatchette playing the slot position in place of Carter.

"There's no adjustments," quarterback Jeff George said. "Obviously, you're going to miss a player of that caliber, a leader. But if there's one position that we have a lot of depth at, it's receiver."

Carter has 82 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He almost single-handedly pulled the Vikings from their early-season slump with the best five-game stretch by a receiver in NFL history.

Bills. Wide receiver Eric Moulds criticized the NFL after the league fined him $5,000 for making the forbidden "throat slash" gesture in last Sunday's game. "Rarely is it that you get into the end zone in this league, so guys get excited," Moulds said. "Right now they're trying to take the fun out of the game and make it a straight business. It's the first time I made the gesture, and now it's the last."

Moulds was standing on the sideline after making a 36-yard reception on the opening play of the Bills' 19-17 loss to the New York Giants when he made the gesture.

On the first Sunday after the ban, the New Orleans Saints' William Whitehead made the gesture after sacking St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner. Whitehead was fined $5,000.

Saints. Former Tulane receiver P.J. Franklin was promoted to the active roster, and linebacker Vinson Smith was placed on injured reserve.

Jaguars. Reggie Barlow, the team's leading kickoff and punt returner, has a tear in his right knee and will miss Sunday's game against Cleveland.

He was injured jogging during practice Wednesday.

Rookie Lenzie Jackson and receiver Keenan McCardell will take Barlow's place as punt returns.

Steelers. Kordell Stewart says he is going back to throwing passes, not catching them, and won't play wide receiver again after this season.

Stewart agreed to help out injury-depleted Pittsburgh by moving to receiver after being benched as quarterback three weeks ago. But he has no desire to make a permanent switch.

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