What started out as an investigation into a fight involving three Colorado State University football players and a freshman student could lead to charges of drug possession for the three athletes. Although all four students were charged with disorderly conduct and expelled from the university after the brawl last month, the drug allegations could overshadow that incident.
The students have until May 15 to appeal their expulsions, but the players' appeals could be moot if Fort Collins police are proven correct about what they found when they searched their homes. Officers went looking for bloody clothing as evidence of the fight, and they claim to have found it. But they also say they found more incriminating evidence.
According to a police report, one of the officers searching a room with a player's name on the door found a refrigerator containing an unlabeled box of clear bottles that he suspected were related to "unlawful drug use." Police seized the evidence and listed it as possible steroids. The player's lawyer said the officer was wrong about where those vials were found and that his client denies that the vials were his.
In a search of another player's home, police said they found packages with labels indicating they contained anabolic steroids, along with what they suspected was marijuana and a bong. Next to a bed in the same home, police said, was a duffel bag containing hypodermic needles in plastic bags. But the needles were marked with a prescription with the player's name on it. During questioning, the player told police he has a medical condition that prevents him from producing adequate levels of testosterone and that he had a prescription somewhere in the house. The needles and drugs were documented but not confiscated.
It will be interesting to see how these findings will affect the players' court case regarding the fight. It's possible police will use the discovery of the drugs and paraphernalia to pressure the players to accept a plea bargain for the disorderly conduct charges. This is where a skilled defense attorney should be able to present their options and offer advice on the best legal course of action for each of them. When defendants have the potential for a bright future as these college athletes do, it's important that their attorneys protect that future by helping them make the best possible decisions.
Source: Coloradoan.com, "Fort Collins police, Larimar DA won't talk about possible drug charges for CSU players," Trevor Hughes, May 3, 2012