Miami WR signee Sam Bruce leaves St. Thomas Aquinas over alleged gun photo

Miami WR signee Sam Bruce leaves St. Thomas Aquinas over alleged gun photo

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Miami WR signee Sam Bruce leaves St. Thomas Aquinas over alleged gun photo

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University of Miami-bound wide receiver Sam Bruce withdrew from St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) on Tuesday amid questions about a photograph that allegedly depicts the Under Armour All-American holding a gun, according to The Miami Herald.

The photo was used during a dispute with a 25-year-old Aquinas alum over Bruce’s ex-girlfriend, according to The Herald. The 25-year-old allegedly alerted authorities, although no incident report was filed, a police spokesperson told the paper.

St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Sam Bruce (Photo: Greg Oyster, 247Sports)

St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Sam Bruce (Photo: Greg Oyster, 247Sports)

Bruce’s family and his attorney, Frank A. Maister, insisted no crime was committed, although Maister conceded the Hurricanes recruit had been photographed while holding a gun.

“Yes, I’ve seen the picture,’’ Maister told The Miami Herald. “He’s 18 years old. He has an absolute right to possess a firearm under the second amendment of the Constitution. Totally legal. And there’s no certainty it’s a real gun. It might very well be a BB gun. There’s not a story here. He’s a great kid. He’s got a great family. … There was a dispute between Sam and a much older guy about a girl. And this 25-year-old guy, who I’m sure is the source behind all of this, threatened Sam, is what happened.’’

Maister said Bruce would quickly enroll in another high school and said the ex-girlfriend is not involved.

Asked specifically why Bruce would leave Aquinas if he was not in trouble, he said, “I think it was a desire to do what’s best for Sam at this point. He wanted to remove himself from even the potential of any issues.’’

Regardless, Bruce must now enroll at another school to graduate before attending college. Miami assistant athletic director of communications Tom Symonds told The Herald that the school was investigating the incident, but fully expects Bruce to be a member of the team in 2016.

Considered one of the nation’s 10 best wide receiver recruits, Bruce hauled in 46 receptions for 427 yards and four touchdowns in addition to rushing for another three scores and returning a kickoff for a TD during St. Thomas Aquinas’ run to a second straight Class 7A state championship this past season. According to The Miami Herald, Bruce was suspended for his team’s third-round playoff win for what Aquinas head coach Roger Harriott said was “an internal matter.”

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