NEW YORK (CBS) — An investigation by CBS News and Sports Illustrated has discovered that a significant number of top college football players have a criminal background.

CBS News reports the six-month investigation found that 7 percent of the 2,837 players in the Sports Illustrated 2010 top 25 pre-season football rosters had past trouble with the law. More than 200 players had either been arrested or formally cited by police, and 39 percent had been charged with serious crimes such assault and battery, domestic violence, burglar, cocaine possession, or driving under the influence, CBS News reported.

Among the most sensational cases was that of Antwan Darling, now a freshman linebacker at the University of Cincinnati. Last March when he was still in high school, he was charged with breaking into a home in Miami and was arrested at gunpoint, CBS News reported.

It turned out Darling had been arrested twice before, CBS News reported. He had pleaded no contest to a charge of marijuana possession, and had been charged in a weapons case, but those charges were later dropped.

The school apparently did not know about Darling’s record. CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian reported that only two schools in the study’s sample conducted regular criminal background checks on recruits.

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