Tennessee State Football Player And Staffer Love Triangle Gets Deeper | Running Back’s Girlfriend Caught Them In Bed

Image Credit: Scoops Nashville

The curious case of Tennessee State University star running back Devon Starling’s love affair with Ariel Escobar, TSU director of football operations, has gotten even crazier. Starling’s girlfriend Mai Kanu caught Starling engaged in sexual relations with Escobar and assaulted them, leading to her arrest. Additionally, the school knew about the inappropriate relationship between the player and the staffer.

When Cheating Goes Wrong

“Multiple staff have confirmed the school’s administration knew about the relationship since August, when 22-year-old Mai Kanu, who is Starling’s full-time girlfriend and was in the car when Escobar rammed it, was herself arrested,” Scoops Nashville reported this month. “Police say Kanu came to Starling’s apartment on Aug. 24, aware he had another woman inside.”

“Kanu stormed through the door and found the school’s Football Ops Director, Ariel Escobar, romantically entwined with Sterling. She repeatedly struck Sterling in the face, leaving him with multiple visible injuries and swelling. Kanu attacked Escobar, too, pulling her hair and punching her in the face. Escobar did not wish to prosecute to avoid being named in the police report. The following week, records show multiple staff members reported the incident to TSU’s Director of Athletics, Dr. Mikki Allen, who dismissed the reports. Staff also reported Escobar had another sexual relationship with a co-worker, a member of the Football program’s Executive Administration team.”

The school has since released a statement to address the alleged improprieties.

“The University is aware of an arrest of an employee, and takes the allegations associated with the incident seriously,” the university said in a statement Monday. “TSU is unable to comment on specific personnel matters or matters potentially implicating student privacy laws. We will have no further comment at this time.”

Image Credit: Scoop Nashville

Parking Lot Run-In

The 22-year-old Escobar was arrested early the morning of Dec. 3 after waiting outside Starling’s apartment as he arrived home with Kanu. The situation escalated as Starling said that Escobar rammed her car into his vehicle while he and his girlfriend were inside. Starling continued by saying Escobar backed up and hit his car a second time, then pulled off, causing minor damage to Starling’s car. Escobar was arrested.

Starling’s and Escobar’s dalliance reenergized when news broke that he hit the transfer portal. With TSU having a losing season, going 4-7, the star back is looking to go into his senior year away from the drama.

Image Credit: Scoop Nashville

The Nashville native was rated a two-star prospect by 247 Sports and Rivals at Cane Ridge, per his TSU Tigers bio. He was named the 2018 Tennessee Class 6A Mr. Football, and as a senior he rushed for 2,159 yards and 25 touchdowns. Starling finished just short of 2,300 yards, scoring 28 touchdowns as a junior, and earned offers from Central Arkansas, UT Martin, and Howard University while drawing interest from Memphis, Austin Peay, and Tennessee Tech.

There is not much info on Starling’s enraged girlfriend, Mai Kanu. However, a quick perusal of Ariel Escobar’s credentials shows a derailed life in sports. Escobar was the assistant director of football operations & on-campus recruiting for San Jose State Spartans Football from 2018-2021 before moving on to Tennessee State University, where she was promoted to Director of Football Ops.

Devon Starling has a lot going on outside the gridiron, and hitting the transfer shows he wants a fresh start from the mess.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.