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Football player Kyron McKinnie-Harper suspended indefinitely, accused of multiple larcenies


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Central Michigan defensive back Kyron McKinnie-Harper watches a New Mexico State receiver Oct. 12 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Head football coach Jim McElwain announced Friday that starting cornerback Kyron McKinnie-Harper is suspended indefinitely for a "violation of team rules."

McElwain would not elaborate on the suspension. It's unclear if McKinnie-Harper, 19, has been suspended from Central Michigan University. 

On Feb. 13 an arrest warrant was issued for McKinnie-Harper. He faces several criminal charges including one count of using a computer to commit a crime, one count of unauthorized computer access, one count of computer fraud and three counts of larceny by conversion, according to Isabella County Court records. 

Kyron McKinnie-Harper (Courtesy: Central Michigan Athletics)

Central Michigan University Police Det. Scott Bailey said he could not comment on the case. He said the investigation into McKinnie-Harper is ongoing. 

It is unclear if McKinnie-Harper remains enrolled at CMU. 

Heather Smith, director of University Communications, said the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the university "from releasing details of any possible disciplinary action regarding a student." 

McKinnie-Harper played in 12 games last year. According to court records, police are looking at his Oct. 27 online activities, the day after CMU's game against Buffalo. McKinnie-Harper did not travel with the team that day, but finished the rest of the regular season and played in the Dec. 7 Mid-American Conference championship game at Ford Field. 

In an interview prior to the New Mexico Bowl, McElwain listed McKinnie-Harper as "injured." The coach would not elaborate on the injury and McKinnie-Harper did not travel with the team, though other injured teammates did go to Albuquerque. 

McKinnie-Harper is charged with one felony larceny count of more than $1,000, less than $20,000. Conviction could result in 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. He also faces two misdemeanor larceny counts of $200, less than $1,000. A conviction is punishable by 1 year in jail and/or fines of up to $2,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. Using a computer to commit a crime is a felony that could result in 4-to-10 years in prison. 

Last season, McKinnie-Harper established himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the MAC as a true freshman. On the season, he totaled 25 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He was tabbed as a prospective starter heading into the 2020 campaign.

Without McKinnie-Harper, McElwain will be forced to turn elsewhere at the cornerback position. Options include juniors Dishon Mcnary, Darius Bracy and Brandon Brown as well as sophomore Montrae Braswell. 

According to the CMU student-athlete handbook, "students arrested for misdemeanors or felonies will be suspended from practice and play pending a prompt investigation to determine whether the suspension should be continued or lifted. Any student-athlete arrested is required to report the arrest to his/her coach immediately. All misdemeanor or felony arrests will be reported to the Office of Student Life. Any violation of the Athletics Department standards, or any action that is considered detrimental to the team, department or university, including any criminal charges, is subject to disciplinary action, which includes but is not limited to: dismissal from the University, suspension, non-renewal of an athletics grant-in-aid, or removal from team; the severity of which will depend on the violation, mitigating circumstances and jurisdiction." 

McKinnie-Harper was contacted for comment for this story. 

Spring practices for the Chippewas begin Saturday.

Follow Central Michigan Life for further information as it becomes available.

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