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Posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 10:48 a.m.

U-M senior defensive tackle Will Campbell pleads guilty to misdemeanor, must pay $2,100

By Kyle Feldscher

University of Michigan senior defensive tackle Will Campbell must pay $2,100 in restitution after admitting to sliding across the hood of a car in Ann Arbor in April.


William Campbell

Courtesy of the University of Michigan

Campbell pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of malicious destruction of property worth more than $200 but less than $1,000 in court Thursday morning. In exchange for the guilty plea, Washtenaw County prosecutors dismissed his felony charge of malicious destruction of property worth more than $1,000 but less than $20,000.

Campbell said he was walking across the 600 block of Church Street, an area filled with bars frequented by UM students, early on April 7 to meet some friends at Pizza House. He told District Court Judge Christopher Easthope he slid across the hood of a 2003 Lincoln Town Car and caused damage to the hood.

Easthope accepted the plea and agreed to sentence Campbell under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which allows people who commit a criminal offense before their 21st birthday to have the conviction erased from their criminal records if they complete probation successfully.

Easthope will sentence Campbell at 9 a.m. July 27 at the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor. Campbell has also been charged with being a minor purchasing, consuming or possessing liquor and will be in court to face that charge on July 23.

Campbell was arraigned May 31 on the vandalism charges. The 20-year-old, 6-foot-5, 322-pound defensive tackle slid across the hood of the car, causing enough damage that an officer patrolling the area as bars emptied could hear the sheet metal buckle.

Donald Payne, Campbell’s attorney, declined to comment on Thursday’s court hearing beyond explaining the plea agreement.

Campbell was having a promising offseason and seemed set to take on a leadership role as he entered his senior season after a disappointing first three years at Michigan. He has 19 career tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery for the Wolverines.

Coach Brady Hoke mentioned repeatedly throughout the offseason that Campbell was a candidate to be named one of the team’s captains for the upcoming season.

Campbell’s charges did not immediately affect his status with the football team.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Jack Campbell

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

Wonder how he got that last name.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

When I think of these suffereing players falling by the wayside, very relevant truthful words haunt me, "I believe the children are our future, let them laugh and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside.... give them a sense of pride, to make it easier, let the children's laughter remind us how we use to be.. I DECIDED LONG AGo never to walk in anyone's shadow. If I fail if I succeed at least I'll have my dig-nit-ty..." Those beautiful and powerful words were spoken by the late Whitney Houston , possibly moments after a crackpipe scorched her pursing lips. Yet these words are lost on a man who is acclaimed and assumed and entrusted to be those words, yet I doubt Al Borges even knows who Whitney Houston is. Who is Al Borges ?


Sat, Jun 16, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Geez-oh-Petes ted, that's low even for your standards.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Isn't it the responsibility of our coaches to look after these young men ? Al Borges was one of the main men who was entrusted to look after this poor kid. Will Campbell's hand was outstretched in need for help and our offensive coach looked away.


Sat, Jun 16, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

But then again ted, who's looking after you ?


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

Are you just making haggis out of hot dogs, or what?

Jimmy McNulty

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

This sounds like a kid being......a kid, not someone committing a felonious crime. I hope this doesn't affect him negatively, other than paying restitution for the damage.


Sat, Jun 16, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

Jimmy he is young but he's right at that young adult stage. At his age I was slinging a gun in Viet Nam and no one thougt of me as a kid.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

If the incident was an accidental mistake, it isn't a crime. If it was intentional, it isn't a misdemeanor. What gives?


Sat, Jun 16, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

What gives quet is that he is an important cog in the wheel for the 2012 season of football at the University of Michigan, now do I need to explain what happens if this is you or I charged with the same crime.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

BIG WILL just need's to take all that energy and destructive force and apply it to the football field and he will be just fine!! GO BLUE!!!!!!


Sat, Jun 16, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

Yes, and please don't do the same thing to my car.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Hey--where are the people who say that players should be paid? We need them today. That would be good logic. University pays student 4000 per year. Student athlete uses it to drink, get stupid and cause damage, thus appearing in court where there are costs. With that "fix", the students can afford these fines. (if there's anything left after the bar bill LOL)


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Looks like Michigan Football is catching up with Big Brother MSU!


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 11:30 a.m.

I am a Sparty and willingly admit the MSU program is dirtier, but these aren't abberations with UM either. Even under St. Bo there were a ton of problems. Think back to when the U got it's own police force and presto the A2 police started hauling in more UM players. I find it more interesting that the gap between the admissions criteria for a FB player and a regular kid at UM is more life a gulf....a large gulf. And for a little added comparison let's look at basketball. Izzo is no saint, but before John B (who I think is honorable but too stuck on shooting the 3) the Wolverines were a felony factory. The real scary thing is wondering what SEC schools do.

William Dove

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

Not even close! When we start getting guys out of jail months early for aggravated assault so they can start spring football, only to be arrested for the very same thing months later. and when our team runs through a frat house with masks on, beating people up. Stonum was the most serious and he paid dearly, unlike Dantonio who let a player decide if he should sit out a game for breaking team rules! Then there is Urbie Meyer who broke all records for football team members being arrested when he was in Gainsville! BY THE WAY IT IS LITTLE BROTHER!


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

Only a lawyer could make sense out of this sequence of statements: 1) Campbell caused damage worth $2100 2) The destruction of property worth $200-$1000 is a misdemeanor 3) The destruction of property worth $1000-$20000 is a felony. 4) Campbell pleads guilty to a misdemeanor 5) Campbell has to pay $2100. What? Why does he have to pay that much if it's a misdemeanor? The legal system stinks.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

From the last set of questions, it seems like you're complaining that he's paying the actual cost of repairing the car, which is the most fair thing about this. From your five statements, I think maybe the opposite--you might actually be complaining that the felony was dropped, when there's no way he should ever have been charged with a felony. For one, you dropped the word "malicious" from statements 2 and 3. That's important, and I just don't see how Campbell's behavior could possibly be described as malicious. Or maybe you're not complaining about the outcome, just the logic, in which case read the comment about "malicious" above, and note that the most reasonable of the two charges is what stuck, and the most reasonable payment is what's required--if that's "stinking," may the courts smell like a Buckeye portajohn.. The only problem I have is that even a misdemeanor is pretty questionable. Yes, it wasn't very responsible behavior, but I think it probably was best dealt with privately. He's a big guy, but I'm still surprised he managed to damage the car--two normal sized people wouldn't think anything of denting a car by climbing and jumping on it together so why should one big guy? It's not wholly unreasonable, though, assuming the owner wasn't part of the festivities him/herself.

Mike D

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

Glad this has been resolved. Good learning experience for Will. 2003 Lincoln Town Car? What was Justin Farga's Dad in town? Huggy Bear.


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

I don't get the reference to Fargas' dad. What's the back story?


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

Will Campbell still faces two court appearances; 7/23 and 7/27. While this is not over, yet, I do hope his demeanor was sincere. Now we know that the car was a Lincoln Town Car, a very large vehicle, one that would enable big Will to attempt the slide across the hood. Too bad there weren't Mini Coopers parked along Church Street that night and none of this would have happened.


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

Either that or Will would have totaled the car.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

Assuming he was willing to pay for the damages, seems very silly to be charging him with a crime.


Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : midnight

We may disagree on quite a few things, but we're apparently on the same page with this. I fully agree. Let's just get the hood of the car fixed and move on. Unfortunately for Campbell, though, "moving on" translates to "dealing with the MIP" charge. Bummer that he has caused some trouble for himself and indirectly the team.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

I agree with you. I wish I knew the sequence of events that transpired from the moment Campbell attempted his stunt to when the police officer chose to arrest and file charges. What I don't know is what discretionary latitude a police officer has in this type of thing. Three scenarios -- (a) Owner of car nowhere to be found (b) Owner of car present and demands charges (c) Owner of car present and agrees to work out privately Any lawyers on the board who can say?


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Every young man makes stupid errors, and some of those involve the police. I speak from some experience on this. The question is whether (a) there is sincere acknowledgement of the mistake and (b) a sincere commitment to learn from the mistake. I'm sure Hoke is gauging both (a) and (b) with respect to how he'll handle discipline. There is a huge difference between a player doing something like this and being truly sorry for the mistake, and one who rolls his eyes, dismisses the seriousness of it, and commits another stupid act. The former is likely to stay on the team; the latter isn't.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Damn, not chump change for a kid. But yeah, Will, you are obviously wayyyy too big and heavy to be sitting or sliding on cars, haha.