Local 6 Exclusive: UCF football player suspended after DUI

Willie Mitchell accused of driving at more than double the legal limit

Author: Lisa Bell, Reporter, Fill-in anchor, lbell@clickorlando.com
Published On: Sep 24 2013 11:36:21 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 25 2013 05:30:49 PM EDT
Mitchell, Willie photo
ORLANDO, Fla. -

A University of Central Florida starting football player, who is facing charges of DUI, was suspended from the team for the rest of the season after he was accused of driving with a blood alcohol level more than double the legal limit.

UCF Head Football Coach George O'Leary told Local 6 Willie Mitchell, 22, will only be allowed to play on the practice field.

[VIDEO: Watch Lisa Bell's original report here]

"Right now, he's suspended for the rest of the season as far as I'm concerned," O'Leary said. "It's a very irresponsible act on his part."

Starting linebacker Mitchell was suspended before the game against Penn State after he was arrested on Sept. 7 on DUI charges.

The revelation comes just as the Knights are about to play one of their biggest games ever -- against South Carolina at home this Saturday.

According to Mitchell's arrest affidavit, there was another UCF football player in the car Mitchell was driving. He was not named in the arrest report, but Mitchell refers to him as his "roommate" and the vehicle was later released to UCF star wide receiver Jeffrey Godfrey.

O'Leary told Local 6 on Wednesday the other player who was in the car with Mitchell was also suspended for the rest of the season, but he would not reveal who that player is -- and whether is was Godfrey.

"Willie was the driver.  The other kid was the passenger," O'Leary said.  "He got suspended by me, too."

UCF's Athletics spokesman had said no other players were currently suspended.
Mitchell was pulled over around 11:30 p.m. on September 7 by UCF police in a McDonald's parking lot near Alafaya Trail and University Boulevard after driving without his headlights on.

Only Local 6 has the video from a UCF officer's body camera showing Mitchell being stopped and given a sobriety test. On the video, you can see and hear Mitchell struggle to hold his balance and count while performing several field sobriety tests.

Mitchell also admits to drinking "one cup" of alcohol earlier in the night.
In Mitchell's arrest report, the officer notes he spots a red Solo cup full of "dark liquid" inside the vehicle Mitchell was driving.

Mitchell repeatedly pleaded with the officer to let him go back to his residence at "the towers."

"Please? Can you just tell my coach and I go back to the towers? Please," said Mitchell.

According to the arrest affidavit, Mitchell later blew a .151 and .166, more than double the legal limit.

"Why do you have to take me to jail?" asked Mitchell.

"It wasn't my fault you got behind the vehicle and drove drunk, man," replied the arresting officer.

Mitchell's arrest came just one day after the linebacker started in the game against Florida International University and recorded 3 solo tackles.