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WVU basketball: Phillip faces order for arrest

By Mike Casazza, WVU Beat Writer

MORGANTOWN, W.Va ­— West Virginia’s new basketball recruit is wanted for an old transgression.

A spokesperson for the Gaston County (N.C.) magistrate office said Sunday that Mountaineers signee Tarik Phillip is facing an order for his arrest for a failure to appear to face a felony charge from February 2012.

“We are aware of the issues that took place more than two years ago, but it was our understanding, as well as other parties, that the issues were resolved,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said in a statement. “Our expectation is that the issue will be resolved.”

It’s one of two times Phillip was arrested while attending Queen City Prep, in Charlotte, N.C., during the 2011-12 academic year. According to Mecklenberg County (N.C.) records, Phillip was also arrested Dec. 3, 2011, and charged with a misdemeanor count of injury to personal property.

Phillip, who is attending Independence (Kan.) Community College, committed to WVU on a visit two weekends ago and signed a national letter of intent last week. He was also arrested Feb. 1, 2012, and charged with larceny from person. The spokesperson described the charge as a “lower-class felony.” Phillip was accused of stealing an iPhone from another person, but was released after signing an unsecured $2,500 bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay to get out of jail.

The spokesperson said Phillip was scheduled to be in court the following day, but didn’t show up at the appearance. At that point, Phillip’s felony charge was put on hold until he was located. In North Carolina, the statute is known as voluntary dismissal with leave.

The spokesperson said it’s not the same as having the charge dismissed and instead means the case is paused and then re-opened when the person is located.

If Phillip had been brought in previously, or if he turns himself in now, he’d face a secured $5,000 bond as well as the original felony charge, for which punishments range from fines to probation. A court date would match up with the schedule of the original arresting officer.

Phillip verbally committed to the Mountaineers on April 13 and signed with the program April 16, the first day of the spring signing period. The 6-foot-3 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., played this past season at Independence Community College, where he averaged 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists and was named the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year.

He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.


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