Photo by Chelsea Wright
Dick’s Sporting Goods was the target of a theft spree that police say involved football players from Castleton State College.
CASTLETON — A third Castleton State College football player — who was named the conference rookie of the week earlier this month — is being charged in connection with a string of thefts.
Vermont State Police have cited Mark I. Comstock, 22, of Rutland, on a charge of retail theft. He is one of six CSC football players who have been suspended indefinitely from the team in connection with a series of thefts from Dick’s Sporting Goods in Rutland Town.
Three of the six players have been identified by police and face charges: George Busharis, 19, the CSC Spartans’ starting quarterback; Brandon Boyle, 21, an All-America wide receiver; and now Comstock.
Police responded to Dick’s on Sept. 10 when an employee called to complain that a fellow employee — Boyle — was helping a teammate steal merchandise.
Police wrote in court records that Busharis was found outside the store with about $300 in Dick’s merchandise and a receipt for a single item for $3.
Busharis allegedly told police he and Boyle had done this several times before, and Boyle allegedly admitted helping Busharis and other CSC students steal from the store. Based on receipts and video surveillance, personnel at Dick’s estimated the store’s losses at $3,000.
Boyle and Busharis both face charges of retail theft, but Boyle also faces a charge of embezzlement.
Comstock is a Rutland High School graduate who distinguished himself on the basketball court at CSC, scoring more than 1,000 points during his career.
Comstock graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in science but returned in the fall as a graduate student.
He also joined the football team for the first time and was named Eastern Collegiate Football Conference’s rookie of the week after his first game, when he had eight receptions for 164 yards and one touchdown in a 35-31 victory over Plymouth State College.
That was also his last game for the indefinite future. Comstock, along with Boyle and Busharis, were suspended indefinitely before their second game of the season, a 43-7 loss at home to Endicott College.
The academic status of the six suspended players has not changed, according to college officials.
Comstock is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 19 in Rutland criminal court. Busharis and Boyle are to be arraigned next month.
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