Ex-Columbus, Ole Miss star faces sexual battery charge

July 19, 2013 11:41:54 AM

Sarah Fowler - sfowler@cdispatch.com

 

AMORY -- A local football legend is currently awaiting prosecution in Monroe County for sexual battery. 

 

Vernon Studdard, 65, of Amory, was arrested last week by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and charged with two counts of sexual battery. 

 

He was released from jail on a $25,000 bond. 

 

According to sources familiar with the investigation, Studdard is accused of molesting a young relative believed to be under the age of 10. 

 

If the district attorney decides to prosecute the case, it will go before the grand jury in November. Monroe County Circuit Court does not convene until January. 

 

At Columbus' Lee High School, where he was coached by future Ole Miss coach Billy Brewer, Studdard became one of the most prominent athletes in the school history and was one of the most coveted players in the South.  

 

He chose Ole Miss and went on to a standout career from 1968-1970, becoming the favorite target of legendary quarterback Archie Manning. After leaving Ole Miss, Studdard played a single season in the NFL with the New York Jets.

Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @FowlerSarah