Connor Croll

Connor Croll

A former University of Alabama student accused of making a bomb threat to Tiger Stadium while it was jammed with 102,000 fans during the LSU-Florida game appeared in a Baton Rouge courtroom Wednesday and was told to return to court May 26.

Connor Bruce Croll, 19, of Crozet, Virginia, is charged with communicating false information of a planned bombing on school property, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. He pleaded not guilty in October.

Croll, who now attends a community college, appeared Wednesday before ad hoc state District Judge Tony Marabella with his attorney, James Rothkamm, for a status hearing. Rothkamm requested the May court date, when motions are scheduled to be heard.

A call to the Baton Rouge Police Department's non-emergency line during the high-profile Oct. 12 game warned of a bomb in Tiger Stadium and was traced to Croll's phone, authorities have said. He was a University of Alabama freshman at the time.

Police say he confessed to making the threat in an effort to halt the game because "his friend was on the verge of losing a large bet," according to booking records.

A crowd of 102,321 saw LSU beat Florida 42-28.

ESPN, which televised the game, said it was the network's most-watched college football game in nearly two years and ranked in the top five of ESPN's most-watched October games of the last quarter-century. The game was viewed by an average of 6,450,000 viewers and peaked at 7,428,000 late in the fourth quarter.

The contest was the most popular sporting event nationwide that day, ESPN said.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.