Five current and former football players for Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro were arrested Sunday morning following a fight at an area nightclub.
Murfreesboro Police were called to Main Street Live, a popular bar and music venue, two miles from campus, early Sunday morning.
An estimated 300 people were gathered in a gravel parking lot where multiple fights broke out in what police officers called "chaos."
"We had a lot of people throwing things. We had people throwing punches, shoving, just very unacceptable disorderly conduct," said Kyle Evans, a spokesperson for the Murfreesboro Police Department.
Former wide receiver Anthony Amos, 22, and current cornerback Jared Singletary, 19, were charged with disorderly conduct.
Current receiver Marcus Henry, 20, was charged with disorderly conduct and evading and resisting arrest.
Former defensive lineman Jerrold Frazier, 19, and current offensive lineman Adam Stickel, 18, received more serious charges including assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
Stickel was also charged with underage drinking and public intoxication.
George Stanberry, an 18-year-old Oakland High School basketball player and roommate to Amos, was also arrested, accused of disorderly conduct and underage drinking.
In total, Evans said eight people were arrested.
"They were given multiple opportunities to leave," explained Evans. "They were told to leave. They had every opportunity to leave and they chose instead to act drunk and disorderly and even in some cases, assault some of our police officers by taking a swing at them and charging at them in an aggressive manner."
One of the people who was arrested, who lives with several of the football players, talked to Nashville's News 2.
The MTSU student, who didn't want to be identified, said he and his friends were trying to leave the party when they got caught up in the crowd.
"There was no fight, I want to be clear on that," he said, "There was no fight outside at all and there is no reason why we should've been tackled or pepper sprayed, for that matter."
The student also added, "The people that were fighting in the club did not get arrested, but innocent bystanders got arrested? How does that happen?"
On campus Tuesday, students were just learning of the arrests.
"That's crazy," said junior Jasmine Liggins. "I haven't heard anything about it."
The MTSU football program has grown in size, strength and popularity in recent years.
Students were shocked to hear of alleged player involvement in Sunday's incident, especially that of Henry and Amos.
In the 2012 season, Henry ran for 182 yards with one touchdown. Amos outran him for 992 yards and nine touchdowns.
Amos had hoped to go to the NFL this year.
Following the arrests, Blue Raiders Head Coach Rick Stockstill released a statement that said he was "very disappointed to learn of the arrests."
"This is not the reflection of our football program we want at Middle Tennessee and we will react accordingly after gathering all the information," Stockstill said. "We always try to represent our University to the highest standards and matters like this are taken very seriously."
Despite limited information, those on campus were ready to forgive their fellow students of any wrongdoing.
"Things can happen. It could've been something that spiraled out of control," said junior Mariah Lawler.
"College is a place for growing," added sophomore Jim Duncan. "Everyone makes mistakes every now and again in their life. [It's] probably better that they're making it now, rather than later on."
"Everybody has flaws, you know. I just hope everything works out," said junior Elijah Parrish.
All suspects arrested Sunday are out on bond and expected to be in court in late March or April.
Murfreesboro police plan to add officers during the weekend to make sure they have enough people on staff so this kind of thing does not happen again.
"We will work with the Fire Marshall's office to ensure that the club does not go overcapacity," said Evans, the police spokesman. "We'll have officers inside looking for trouble before it starts, and that includes issuing citations in arrests for underage consumption."
According to the Tennesseee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the club has changed names multiples times over the past few years.
The ownership has remained the same.
The commission also noted that since 2006, the West Main Street location has received eight citations, two of which were for underage drinking.