UNC Wilmington transfer arrested on felony drug charges

Whichever schools were vying to land UNC Wilmington transfer Donte Morales prior to Tuesday probably aren't beating down his door anymore.

That's because it's tough for any coach to take a chance on a player allegedly peddling weed in his spare time.

Morales was arrested Tuesday morning in New Hanover County, N.C., on multiple drug charges, including felony possession of marijuana and conspiracy to sell or deliver marijuana. Bond is set at $35,000.

Morales, Buzz Peterson's first recruit at UNC Wilmington, was one of three Seahawks starters to announce their intent to transfer in early April in the wake of a disappointing 10-21 season. The junior-to-be started 48 games in two seasons and averaged 7.2 points per game last year, though Luke Hager had a chance to beat him out for a starting position next season.

"Either you want to be here or you don't," Peterson told the Wilmington Star-News after Morales decided to transfer. "We have guys in the program who want to be here. This lets us move forward and get ready for next year."

It sounds like Morales may be addition by subtraction for UNC Wilmington, but the roster turnover as a whole is a concern. Eight players have transferred out of the program since the 2008-09 postseason, contributing to the Seahawks' current Academic Progress Rate (APR) issues that have rendered them ineligible for the 2012-13 postseason.

The other two players to leave in April were freshmen guards K.K. Simmons and Adam Smith, two cornerstones of an eight-man recruiting class Peterson landed in 2011 to spearhead the rebuilding process. Neither were complete enough players to lead UNC Wilmington into contention in the CAA, but both were players the Seahawks needed to help drag them out of the league's bottom tier.

What to Read Next