Report: Two Florida athletes arrested in drug sting

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) - Two University of Florida athletes were suspended indefinitely Tuesday after each was charged with a felony in connection with a drug sting, according to a newspaper report.

Brandon James, a sophomore running back for the football team, and Brandon Powell, a sophomore guard with the basketball team, were each charged with a felony purchase of narcotics and misdemeanor possession of narcotics, the Times-Union reported.

The duo were arrested after a drug sting Monday night in Gainesville, where the school’s campus is located.

Gainesville police spokesman Lt. Keith Kameg said the pair were arrested minutes after each athlete bought eight grams of marijuana for $20 from an undercover informant.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, in a statement released by the school, said each athlete was immediately suspended by their respective coaches.

“We are aware of the situation and understand the severity of its nature,” Foley said in the statement. “This is not something we take lightly. Both coaches have informed me that the players involved have been suspended indefinitely, and we will continue to follow the procedures in addressing this.”

James returned punts and kickoffs in helping the Gators to the national championship this past season. He averaged 11.0 yards on 33 punt returns with one touchdown and 18.2 yards on 21 kickoff returns as a true freshman.

Powell was a minimal contributor to the men’s basketball team, which also won a national title. He appeared in 23 games and averaged 1.6 points.

Kameg told the newspaper no further charges were expected, and the players’ cases have been turned over for prosecution.