2 Winthrop athletes charged with shoplifting, kicked off team

The HeraldFebruary 12, 2009 

Winthrop women's basketball players Franchesca Davenport and Jennifer Walker were dismissed from the team on Wednesday after they were arrested by Rock Hill police late Tuesday night and charged with shoplifting.

The incident occurred at 10:50 p.m. at the Wal-Mart at 2377 Dave Lyle Blvd. in Rock Hill. A third woman was also arrested and charged with shoplifting.

A man at the store told police Walker had two DVDs in her jacket pocket, Davenport had two bags of chicken in a Wal-Mart bag, and the third woman had a pack of hot dogs in her purse as all three women left the store, according to a police incident report.

Walker and Davenport both declined to comment Wednesday night.

The Winthrop athletics department released a statement Wednesday afternoon stating the two seniors had been dismissed from the team "for violation of team rules."

Winthrop women's basketball coach Bud Childers did not respond to attempts to be reached for comment.

Both players had served suspensions, also for a violation of team rules, to start the season. Walker returned from her suspension on Dec. 7, after missing the first six games of the season. Davenport returned on Dec. 30, having missed the team's first nine games.

Davenport sat out Saturday's game at home against Presbyterian. She watched the first half of the game in the stands directly across the court from Winthrop's bench. Childers' only comment about Davenport after the game was that her absense was the result of violating team rules and that he "would make an announcement soon regarding her status with the team."

It was unclear Wednesday what led to that absence.

Davenport, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward from Atlanta, was projected to be a starter this season, but finished her season playing in 11 of the team's 22 games to date. She made just five starts and averaged 5.4 points per game.

Walker, a 6-2 center from Memphis, Tenn., appeared in 14 games and made three starts. She scored 4 points per game.

Karl Lyles | 329-4032 | klyles@heraldonline.com

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