UConn football players face BB gun, marijuana charges

October 20, 2016

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Two University of Connecticut football players have been suspended from the team after being arrested Wednesday night on drug and weapons charges following a routine traffic stop.

Linebacker Nazir Williams and defensive lineman Felton Blackwell III, both 19, were pulled over after 10 p.m. Wednesday after campus officers saw their vehicle had only one working headlight and had drifted over the center line, police said.

They said after Williams consented to a having the car searched, officers found four grams of marijuana, a BB gun, and an open container of vodka in the car.

Both players are charged with having the gun in a vehicle, and Williams, who police said was driving the car, also is charged with possession of drugs and possession of alcohol by a minor. Both are due in court on Nov. 1.

According to the arrest log, both players were within reach of a loaded BB gun that ''appeared to be an actual firearm and did not have an orange tip marking indicating it was a BB gun.''

The players, both redshirt freshmen, did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment and it was not immediately clear if either had hired an attorney.

Neither Blackwell, a 6-foot-2, 328-pound defensive lineman from Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, nor Williams, a 6-foot-3, 248-pound linebacker from Bridgeton, New Jersey, have played in a game for the Huskies (3-4), who host UCF on Saturday.

In announcing the suspension, the school said football coach Bob Diaco and athletic director David Benedict were taking the allegations very seriously and that the safety of the school's student athletes and university community was ''of the utmost concern.''

The school would not comment whether either player faces academic sanctions, citing federal privacy laws. If the athletes are charged with violating the student code of conduct, they could face punishment ranging from probation to expulsion.

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