WKU football practice

Western Kentucky redshirt junior running back Quinton Baker hauls in a pass during practice Tuesday at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

Two Western Kentucky University football players have been dismissed from the team following shots-fired incidents early Saturday in downtown Bowling Green that are being investigated by the Bowling Green Police Department.

Redshirt junior running back Quinton Baker and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Preston Mixon have been removed from the WKU program after being connected to two separate reports of shots fired early Saturday morning, according to WKU.

BGPD officers responded to the shots-fired reports – one at the Columns Apartments at 1140 Kentucky St. just after 1 a.m. Saturday, and the other at the corner of 12th and Center streets at 2:42 a.m. BGPD spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward confirmed that at least one WKU football player was involved in each incident.

BGPD is still investigating both incidents and did not release the names of those involved because an incident report is still being drafted, Ward said. No other information was immediately available, but Ward said no arrests have been made in the incidents.

Mixon and Baker were not seen at Sunday night’s WKU football practice and the university confirmed Monday morning that both players were dismissed in connection with the incidents.

“The two players involved in the incidents, Quinton Baker and Preston Mixon, have been removed from the team as of Saturday,” WKU team spokesman Bryan Fyalkowski told the Daily News on Monday morning.

Fyalkowski said WKU football is handling other disciplinary matters internally.

Mixon appeared in two games in 2018 as a redshirt freshman. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Montgomery, Ala., native was expected to be in the rotation of several returning offensive linemen.

Baker’s second time being removed from the team follows a series of disciplinary issues since his arrival at WKU.

Before his freshman season, Baker was arrested in April 2016 on several charges, including operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and possession of marijuana.

Baker and other former WKU teammates were suspended for the 2017 season opener for their roles in a March 2017 assault at a campus fraternity house that left one man with injuries. Baker was charged in the incident and pleaded guilty to complicity to second-degree wanton endangerment and complicity to fourth-degree assault under extreme emotional distress.

Baker returned to the field after the opener and played in only seven games while fighting injuries. He was kicked off the team in April 2018 by former coach Mike Sanford for a “consistent violation of team rules.”

The Ashland native spent one season at FCS Portland State and played in only two games.

Helton gave Baker a chance to rejoin the Hilltoppers as a walk-on in the spring. Baker went through spring practice and was ruled immediately eligible by the NCAA in May.

Baker was considered one of four to five running backs competing for consistent rotation in WKU’s backfield this fall.{&end}

– Follow WKU athletics beat writer Elliott Pratt on Twitter @EPrattBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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