Football players allowed to play

Dylan Boyle

Three ISU football players were reinstated to the team Thursday after they were previously suspended indefinitely for charges of possession of marijuana, according to a press release.

Kennard Banks, senior in history; Kevin Hamlin, sophomore in open option liberal arts and sciences; and Cleyon Laing, sophomore in pre-business; turned themselves in to ISU police early Tuesday morning after warrants were issued for their arrest. Police officers were alerted Sept. 9 of possible drug activity outside Building 41 at Frederiksen Court, and officers searched apartment 4115, where the three players lived, on Sept. 11.

According to documents from the Story County District Court, a small glass jar containing marijuana residue, which Banks admitted to owning, was found in Banks’ bedroom. Several marijuana seeds were found in Hamlin’s bedroom, which Hamlin took responsibility for, and marijuana residue was found in Laing’s bedroom, which Laing has not confirmed as belonging to him.

A preliminary court date was set for Oct. 5 for the three players.

“After reviewing and discussing the circumstances of this situation with several senior-level university officials, including a representative of the student judicial system, the athletics department determined the appropriate action, at this time, is to reinstate the players. The action is provided for in the department’s discipline policy,” according to the release.

Tom Kroeschell, communications manager for the athletic department, said he would not comment further on why the players were reinstated.

“Any suspension imposed remains in effect until charges have been resolved by the legal system, applicable university or departmental disciplinary measures have been issued and/or the department lifts or modifies the suspension,” according to Iowa State’s Student-Athlete Discipline Policy.

The policy states that a first infraction is punishable by indefinite suspension and possible suspension from practice. On the third infraction, student athletes are dismissed from the team, according to the policy. The three players did not miss a practice, coach Paul Rhoads said Tuesday.

Michelle Boettcher, assistant dean of students, said she was the representative from judicial affairs consulted on the matter of reinstating the players, but said she only met one-on-one with athletic director Jamie Pollard to discuss the differences between the way judicial affairs handles infractions and the criminal process.

“Ultimately, the decision was up to the athletic director,” Boettcher said.

She said she could not comment on specifics of the case because judicial affairs had not yet received a report from ISU police.

The three players will “be sanctioned under the parameters of the department’s drug testing policy,” according to the athletic department release.

According to the athletic department’s drug testing policy, the first failed drug test results in a meeting with the team’s coach and the student athlete will be required to participate in a drug counseling assessment, a counselor then determining if intervention or rehabilitation is needed.

The players are eligible to play in Saturday’s game against the Army.

Rhoads and Pollard could not be reached for comment Thursday.