Cortez Smith arrested

Here’s the story from cops reporter Marcela Creps;

An Indiana University football player was arrested Thursday on preliminary charges related to a strong-arm robbery reported Wednesday night.

Courtney “Cortez” Alan Smith, 18, faces preliminary charges of robbery and burglary, both B-felonies. Lazell C. McClellon, 19, faces preliminary charges of robbery, burglary, false informing, battery on a police officer and resisting law enforcement.

Smith is a freshman cornerback for the IU Hoosiers.

Bloomington police were called just after 7 p.m. to the 500 block of Muller Parkway where two residents reported being robbed by two unknown assailants.

According to the police report, a friend had come to visit the two residents. Soon after he arrived, there was a knock at the door. Police said one of the residents answered the door and was immediately punched by a man standing at the door dressed all in black. The man then ordered everyone in the home to get on the ground.

A second male entered the home, also dressed in black. The first suspect went towards a back bedroom where one of the residents was exiting. The suspect punched the resident and ordered him back into the bedroom, police said.

The two men, later identified as Smith and McClellon, went through the residence. Taken items included wallets, cell phones, an Xbox and marijuana. During the crime, the two residents told police their visitor crawled to the front door and shut it. The roommates told police they thought it was odd since their visitor was 6-foot-7 and weighs over 300 pounds. Police interviewed the visitor who led authorities to Smith and McClellon.

The two suspects were found in an apartment in the same complex where the crime occurred. The resident allowed police to search the home. During the search, police found two wallets, IDs and other items belonging to the two victims. Police also found clothing worn by the suspects including a mask that covers the lower part of the face and a black hoodie.

When police attempted to arrest McClellon, he fought with officers as they attempted to cuff him. Police said he also gave many false names, later admitting he has four open drug cases in Detroit, Mich.

Both men were taken to the Monroe County Jail.

Smith was one of Indiana’s top recruits in the 2008 class. He redshirted this year and played cornerback on the scout team.

Indiana football spokesman Jeff Keag issued the following statement: “We are aware of the situation and take this matter very seriously.”

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  • Mike P. #1

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 3:58 PM EST

    He has 4 pending drug cases in Michigan? Do they background check or drug screen these kids at all?

    And the saga continues……..

  • WK #2

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:06 PM EST

    Are both on the team or just Smith? The Michigan cases are the other guy’s.

  • Mike P. #3

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:09 PM EST

    Thanks WK, I read it wrong.

  • Jimmy #4

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:10 PM EST

    Bye bye, Cortez.

    Mike, the Michigan charges are related to McClellon, not Cortez Smith.

  • Mike P. #5

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:11 PM EST

    There is not a McClellon listed on the roster.

  • Mike P. #6

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:12 PM EST

    Yeah Jimmy, I already admitted I read it wrong, see the post above yours.

  • ChronicHoosier #7

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:13 PM EST

    “The roommates told police they thought it was odd since their visitor was 6-foot-7 and weighs over 300 pounds”

    I may not be Columbo, but the visitor sure sounds like he could also be a football player. 6’7″ 300+ lbs.?

    1st reefer madness, now strong-armed burglary. Merry Christmas, Hoosiers.

    Welcome to 17th St., Mr. Glass!

  • Peegs Sucks #8

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:21 PM EST

    Was he originally a Sampson recruit?

  • Kyle #9

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:22 PM EST

    Just ridiculous.

    I guess he didn’t need to study for his final exams…..

  • Mike P. #10

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:29 PM EST


    I have to agree, something with that guy just doesn’t set right in this story.

  • WK #11

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:29 PM EST

    Yeah, it is rediculous and monitoring the conduct of scholarship athletes at IU needs to be added to the ever increasing list of “to do(s)” for the athletic department if we ever hope to turn things around.

  • peegs_anti_reverse_pick_pocket #12

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:47 PM EST

    lucky he didnt go into an armed house, they could be dead

  • ManhattanKyle #13

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 4:59 PM EST

    What is the saying…you can take a kid out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the kid.

  • El Duderino #14

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 5:07 PM EST

    Did anyone else find it odd that the victims reported their marijuana stolen?

  • ManhattanKyle #15

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 5:30 PM EST

    What have we learned about kids form Detroit…just in the last few hours?

  • pegscensornazi #16

    Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 8:40 PM EST

    not the brightest kids all the way around. thieves and druggies. nice what IU is producing these days. lets hope we are done with our share of legal problem kids. when is lynch going to boot this kid? should have been done already. nice news for the program on top of losing another recruit.

  • Jake #17

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 12:07 AM EST

    Someone needs to really look into what is going on with this Detroit thing. Being a student here this isn’t just hearsay, I lived on either side of some questionable characters all from Detroit, who where involved in shootings and big drug busts. Certain F-ball players are also indebted to some of them as well as some of the guys from last years basketball team. There was also a big dust up with some football guys last year at an apartment complex in town that involved automatic weapons being pulled, but that won’t see the light of day until ESPN reports it. I can’t wait until it’s reported about AB taking b hits at a massive party or certain guys taking swipes at guys and girls while high off their butt. I’ll just laugh when it comes out and say “remember when”

  • IU06' #18

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 10:04 AM EST

    cut his &!$!!!

  • ww #19

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 12:26 PM EST

    Reminds me of the Corso era.

  • Mike P #20

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 12:55 PM EST

    If we had a coach that took us to a bowl game this year, they would still be practicing everyday and too tired to commit these kind of crimes.

    You know the old saying about idol hands.

  • Sallad #21

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 2:05 PM EST

    Mike P, I don’t know any saying about “idol hands.” Does it have something to do with Paula Abdul?

    Idle hands, however, are the devil’s workshop, as we all know.

  • Mike P #22

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 2:17 PM EST


    Thanks, I thought I used the wrong word, but then decided, screw it, someone will fix it!

  • Steve O #23

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 3:52 PM EST

    Looks like Lynch has about as much control over his players as Sampson..

  • Nate Wilson #24

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 5:40 PM EST

    My guess is that Lynch will cut him loose, meaning he has control of the team.

  • Steve O #25

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 5:43 PM EST

    You are absolutely right, Nate, he just doesn’t have any control over them ON THE FIELD!!! My bad.

  • AJ #26

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 6:01 PM EST

    Anyone bashing Lynch for bringing in the “wrong kinds of players” needs a reality check. The football team had this past season the highest team GPA that it has had in a long while. Something like 22 of 49 letter-winners received all-academic honors from the Big Ten at the end of this season. That is a VERY impressive number. Say what you want about how Lynch handles the team on Saturday afternoons during the fall, but don’t imply that Lynch is willing to overlook bad character during the recruiting process. There are bad apples in every bunch, people. Don’t kid yourself. Even Bob Knight had a few bad kids – see Sherron Wilkerson.

    That said, there is something very fishy about this whole story. Why did the two residents’ friend (who is suspiciously 6’7, 300 pounds) know immediately where Smith and the other guy were hiding out. Furthermore, why would he crawl and close the front door of the apartment during a robbery? Sounds to me like he was an accomplice, and this was either a drug deal gone wrong or some sort of a set up. The “friend’s” height and weight also makes it sound like he is a member of the football team.

    I think there is A WHOLE LOT more to this story. I hope someone does some investigating into it.

  • Chris Korman #27

    Friday, December 19, 2008 - 11:42 PM EST


    More of this story will come out when the police department compiles and releases more of its findings (which should be by early next week). If there are still things left unclear after that we’ll start digging.

  • robbie cortez father #28

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 1:29 AM EST

    racism is alive at IU
    In the local news it said that items taken were a wallet (money), Cell phone (communication device) ,and marijuana(drugs). So a drug dealer called the police and they came out and arrested two black men. Why am I surprised! In the big city police do not come out for drugs robberies.

  • Nate Wilson #29

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 1:37 AM EST


  • kelley #30

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 2:03 AM EST

    Congratulations,AJ! I think you are the only one who is making any kind of sense of this situation. I feel that more investigation should be done. You don’t just right off a talented player. I give Lynch some credit and ability to judge character of a player or he would not have survived in the business of coaching. However, I think he took the easy way out.

  • Bill (of Rights!) #31

    Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 6:30 AM EST

    robbie cortez father | December 20th, 2008 at 1:29 am |
    racism is alive at IU
    In the local news it said that items taken were a wallet (money), Cell phone (communication device) ,and marijuana(drugs). So a drug dealer called the police and they came out and arrested two black men. Why am I surprised! In the big city police do not come out for drugs robberies.

    Yes, of course! Why didn’t we all see this? If Black people are arrested with items belonging to others (like IDs, phones, etc.) in their possession, it can’t possibly be a crime, it must be racism. Did it occur to you that perhaps police were not called to a “drugs robbery” but maybe to a “robbery” or a “battery”? Do you think it’s possible that maybe police discovered the stolen drugs only during the investigation? Whether it was a “drugs robbery” or not, it was still a robbery and a battery, and the last time I checked, one crime being committed does not negate the other. The only thing that surprises me is that the person with four outstanding drug crimes in Michigan is free to leave the state and commit more such crimes here. Oh, sorry, I suppose that’s racist of me to say he committed them-at this point, he’s only accused, with a bu++load of circumstantial evidence against him.


    Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 12:22 AM EST


  • Yoyo #33

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 7:37 AM EST

    It’s just funny how angry everyone is like this has never happened before. This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last. Black or white it doesn’t matter everyone makes mistakes. I see that all the blogs are of people who don’t have scholarships, who can afford to go to school. My thing is nobody really knows what happened that day. And none of the people here have met or talked to cortez. How is it that everyone is judging him already because of the garbage that they’re reading. This could be anyone of you that is in this same situation. Nobody is perfect. How dare all of you?!!!!!! And yes if it were a white person I bet we wouldn’t be hearing this much about it. Now is that a racist statement too?

  • Mike P. #34

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 5:51 PM EST

    “I see that all the blogs are of people who don’t have scholarships, who can afford to go to school.”

    2 scholarships ($2000 total), Pell Grant, $12,000 in student loans and 2 jobs. That and I was raising a son as a single father and I got through school without committing a felony or being involved with anyone who did.

    “My thing is nobody really knows what happened that day.”

    That is true, but the detailed account we have is fairly damaging. If it is not the truth, the truth will come out. In the mean time, Cortez needs to think about the STUPID position he put himself in to even have his name associated with this crime, and realize if he is allowed to keep his scholarship, he needs to become a model student, team mate, and citizen.

    “And none of the people here have met or talked to cortez.”

    None of us? Are you sure of that? You don’t know who is on here, what their ties to IU and the football program is, and who has talked to who. Yes I have met and spoke with Cortez (before this), he seemed to be a personable young man. Even nice people make mistakes and put themselves in bad positions, and everything points to this young man made a major error in judgment (directly or indirectly) that may very well cost him in more way than one.

    “And yes if it were a white person I bet we wouldn’t be hearing this much about it. Now is that a racist statement too?”

    It is a little bit racist, but even more than having a racial tone, it is really a very ignorant statement. If he wasn’t a football player, we wouldn’t hear as much about it as we have.

    Take the 2007 case of Blake Powers, he was arrested for throwing a water ballon that happened to hit an off duty police officer.

    What he done was a misdemeanor that was eligible for pre-trial diversion. However, the comment totals for his articles have exceeded these articles by close to double, with many of them calling for him to not only be kicked off the team, but stand trial for assault on a police officer.

    Not only was it a big story here, it was pasted all over, and even made a blurb on Sports Center

    Just so you know, the only thing in common between Powers and Cortez, they both play football for IU. Powers was a WHITE QB entering his senior season. but of course his arrest was all over the place because of race.

  • Yoyo #35

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 7:12 PM EST

    Look Mr. Mike P I have known Cortez most of his life and I wasn’t talking to you and more power to you for raising your son on your own. Let’s be real here. What I’m saying is true and it must be true because you are all passionate about the situation. I don’t care about Powers and the fact that he is white. And get your facts straight cortez was not the one assaulting the officer. I do feel as though justice will be served. Let the law do their job and stop trying to be judge and jury. I in fact know that if these were people who met and were friends with him they would not be saying all that. It’s funny everybody loves a winner until they think you done something wrong.

  • Mike P. #36

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 8:08 PM EST


    I didn’t say I (or anyone else) was friends with him. I said I have met him (more than once) and that he was a very personable young man that I met.

    You were making a point about this being more of a story because he is black, I was proving the point it has more to do with him being a football player and less to do with his skin color.

    Ex.: Blake Powers arrest getting national media attention on ESPN compared to Cortez not getting the same attention, even though Cortez is accused of a far worse crime.

    The part about trying him for assault on a police officer was in reference to Mr. Powers (he hit an off duty officer with a water ballon) case and not in reference to Cortez, I may not have been clear, but I am not accusing Cortez of assault on an officer.

    Yes I am passionate about this team. I am a very passionate supporter of IU football, and of the players who represent the University as members of that team.

    I am not trying to be judge and jury. I truly hope that he is not directly involved in this, and is found innocent. However, I strongly believe he should be suspended (as he has been) pending the outcome of this situation. If he is innocent then hopefully the truth will bring that out and he will be found not guilty.

  • zach #37

    Monday, December 22, 2008 - 4:01 PM EST

    It is apparent by the nature the story that there are missing elements that have not come out yet. I believe that a rush to decision is always easy, especially when put under pressure…! Bill lynch should have the balls to stand by his players….especially when outsiders are quick to judge. As I said, What’s missing. You have a 300 pound football player in the apartment….he shuts the door….who is this player? Oh…The 300 pound white kid…gets a pass on his name in national news papers.
    Ask Dennis Z. what really happened. Why is the coach protecting this player….Why is the newspaper not releasing this players name…? Somebody ought to be wondering why? Is the prosumption of innocense only for the White Kid….lets protect him? The article does not reveal that Cortez was not arrested the night of the incident… nor was Cortez in the apartment where the articles stolen where found…nor did Cortez have pocession of any of those articles stolen… I guess guitly by association means that you are quitly when you are in the wrong place at the right time. Umm… it could happen to anybody….! Ask the right questions. Require the news and Bill Lynch to give up the other player…… Something is missing in this picture As a matter of fact, why was Cortez name the only one listed….they are alll students….obviously drugs where involved…it appears to me that those in the appartment are in violation of School policy on drugs….! Again ask the right questions…!

  • Mike P. #38

    Monday, December 22, 2008 - 7:16 PM EST


    Judging by your passion for Cortez Smith to be innocent, I am guessing you are a friend of his? I want to believe you, but there are major problems with your story.

    The first line of the article states:

    “An Indiana University football player was arrested Thursday on preliminary charges related to a strong-arm robbery reported Wednesday night.

    I don’t know about you, but that is fairly clear that the crime happened on Wednesday, and he was arrested on Thursday, the next day, not the day of the robbery.

    The “300 pound football player in the apartment” was not arrested. Since he was considered a friend and a visitor of those who were robbed, and was a witness to the police, he would be labeled as a victim/witness, and would not be identified in the paper, something that is common practice. That would also explain why the two victims were not named, they were not placed under arrest.

    Also you said “nor was Cortez in the apartment where the articles stolen where found…nor did Cortez have pocession of any of those articles stolen” yet the article that is from the police report says “The two men, later identified as Smith and McClellon…..The two suspects were found in an apartment in the same complex where the crime occurred. The resident allowed police to search the home. During the search, police found two wallets, IDs and other items belonging to the two victims. Police also found clothing worn by the suspects including a mask that covers the lower part of the face and a black hoodie.”

    Hmmmm. Make sure you read that really slowly Zach, but it clearly states in the article, which is wrote in accordance with the police report that the items belonging to the victim were found in the apartment that the 2 suspects (Smith & McClellon) were in. It does not say either of them had possession of them, just the items were there.

    If you are saying that isn’t true, then you are saying the police falsified their report, and good luck ever proving that.

    I will grant you that there are some fishy things about this.

    Who was the 6′-7″ 300lb guy in the apartment?

    How did he know that it was Smith & McClellon and where to find them?

    Was Smith involved Wednesday night, or did he happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on Thursday and fit a witness description?

    Why were the two “victims” not arrested for drug charges?

    With the charges that are being filed, Lynch (for once) did the right thing by suspending (not kicking off) Smith from team functions until he gets things straightened out.

  • zach #39

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 4:04 AM EST

    I understand your point; however, from my experience when football players are involved in a scandal they are generally placed under extreme scrutiny. As a part of their celebrity, they have to be involved; however, public record the press will let the world know they were there. Therefore, the 300-pound player is just not an innocent bystander. He is a major player, when you consider, he pointed these guys out. He knew them intimately and in the process didn’t intervene. Odd as it seems the article states that his actions are suspect. If it had been me, I would have told my friends, guys quit playing around and get out. All I am saying is that the full story has not come out. If incident had been has violent as people make it out to have been, the police would have taken Cortez in the night of the incident. It just means that the police are uncertain about his participation in this whole thing. Let’s put it in perspective, college kids…that’s why we call them kids….kids do stupid things..! they make unwise decisions! They haven’t even begun to get to bottom of the story…! The item where found in an apartment… however, Cortez doesn’t and didn’t live there…! That was not his apartment…!

  • Mike P #40

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 9:50 AM EST


    I understand all your points, and have many of the same questions.

    I figured Cortez didn’t live in the apartment where the items were found, but he was present when they were found, and fits the description of the suspects.

    Wrong place at the wrong time.

    Yes kids do stupid things, including who they choose to hang around with as their friends. If everything works out in his favor, he learned a harsh lesson on that.

    The other “football player” is one that is the most intriguing. I am a big guy myself, standing right at 7 feet tall, I have been on the plus side of 300lbs since high school. Nobody punches one of my friends and then orders me on the floor, not going to happen.

    I agree he isn’t an innocent bystander, and at this point his involvement is very unclear, but what is known of his involvement is he was there, and fingered them to the cops. That puts him on the “good” side, and keeps his name out of the police report that gets supplied for the article.

    Like I said, with what we know, I think Lynch is taking the appropriate actions with Cortez until this gets straightened out. Hopefully he was not involved in the robbery, was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he can get back on track for his future.

  • Mike P #41

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 12:39 PM EST

    Things got more interesting. 3 other football players have been named in connection with this.

    The 6′-7 300lb “white kid” is actually former Pike standout Dennis Zeigler. Zach, just so you no, Zeigler is not a white kid. The apartment the items wer found in, and where Smith an McClellom were arrested belong to Darius Johnson and Jarrell Drane, both IU football players. Johnson is a Detroit native, McClellon was staying in the apartment while he was in town.

    According to the affidavit, police later interviewed Zeigler who told them he helped set up the crime for Smith and McClellon. As of right now, Zeigler is not facing charges in connection with this, but Smith and McClellon had formal charges filed against them on Monday.

  • zach #42

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 4:02 PM EST

    Slowly, but surely more of the story is unfolding. Zeigler admits to being involved but is not charged with a crime. Cortez, as I said earlier was not arrested the same night that McClellan was arrested. Cortez went to fill out an affidavit or report to assist in the case and while there, he was taken into police custody. It was only after Ziegler rolled that Cortez was Charged and held. Cortez was in his own apartment when the police arrived to arrest McClellan. They came to Cortez’s apartment to search it and then searched his car.
    No evidence was found that would even suggest that Cortez participated in this crime. Cortez was only an on-looker or passerby. It seems to me that the police are very benevolent to Ziegler. He has all the reason to lie to save himself, Cortez although from Detroit, did not know McClellan at all! They were not friends, they were not associates, they have never hung out…! Darius and Jarrel had McClellan living with them. Cortez did not meet with McClellan in an apartment after the crime nor was he in the apartment at the time that the police came to investigate the crime. Mike P. u must admit the more we find out, the more it appears that Cortez is being made a scapegoat. How can someone admit to being involved and not get charged. It is also apparent that in order to save himself, Ziegler made a deal at Cortez’s expense. You cannot believe a liar… Ziegler has no credibility. While Ziegler admits to helping plan the crime, the only person maintaining his innocence is Cortez. From the beginning to the end, Cortez says I was not involved. I believe Cortez…!

  • Mike P. #43

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 4:56 PM EST


    I agree the Zeigler should be charged, and it appears he is receiving special treatment for being the one who rolled.

    Reading the police affidavit, Zeigler lays out all 3 peoples roll in the crime. Later the detective says that “Mr. Courtney Smith was honest about his involvement with the robbery”, I have to assume that Cortez backed up the story that Zeigler gave?

    I do find it interesting that Smith was never around when police were there.

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