Sports News

Aug 1, 2012 9:50 AM by Erin Schattauer - MTN News

MSU basketball players suspended after vehicle break-in arrests

BOZEMAN - Two Montana State University basketball players are suspended from the program after they were arrested for taking items out of parked vehicles in Bozeman.

Jeffrey Budinich, 21, and Tre Johnson, 20, were arrested and charged with two counts each of criminal trespass into a vehicle and theft.

At around 1:12 a.m. Sunday, Bozeman police were called to the Cooper Park area for a report of two males shining flashlights into parked vehicles. An officer found them walking on Alderson Street and spotted a GPS unit sticking out of Johnson's pocket, according to court documents. When asked if the GPS was his, Johnson reportedly told the officer it was not.

Budinich agreed to talk to police and admitted that he and Johnson had entered two parked vehicles and had stolen items from inside them. In addition to the GPS, which was stolen from a pickup truck, they also reportedly took a backpack and a camera from a car parked in the 1000 block of West Koch Street. The owner of the pickup also reported that a checkbook was missing from the vehicle; Budinich admitted that they took the checkbook but that they had left in near a tree near 6th and Alderson, according to court documents.

They were both taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center and held on $1,820 bond each. They have since been released. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Budinich and Johnson were suspended from the Montana State men's basketball program, Bobcat coach Brad Huse said Tuesday.

Budinich and Johnson are both junior forwards. They will not participate in team-related activities after violating program rules over the weekend, according to a news release from the school.

"Tre and Jeff will not participate in team activities, and that's really the only comment I can make at this point," Huse said. "I'm disappointed that we're in this situation."

Huse indicated this would be his only statement on the matter at this time, and "when it's appropriate we will re-evaluate their status in the program," he said.

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