Two Florida athletes suspended indefinitely
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Two University of Florida athletes were suspended indefinitely Tuesday following their arrests for reportedly buying marijuana from a police informant.
According to police reports obtained by newspapers in Gainesville and Tampa, tailback Brandon James and reserve basketball guard Brandon Powell were arrested by Gainesville police during a reverse sting. Neither athlete has been charged.
According to the report obtained by the Tampa Tribune, Powell arranged a meeting with the informant by telephone. Powell and James then met the informant and purchased .8 grams of marijuana for $20, according to details in the report. The sale was recorded on video and audio, the Tribune reported.
James dropped the marijuana when approached by police, the report stated, according to the Tribune.
"We are aware of the situation and understand the severity of its nature," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement Tuesday. "This is not something we take lightly. Both coaches [football's Urban Meyer and basketball's Billy Donovan] have informed me that the players involved have been suspended indefinitely and we will continue to follow the procedures in addressing this."
James, a sophomore, is considered the Gators' top kick returner. He averaged 11 yards per punt return and 18 yards on kickoff returns as a freshman.
Powell averaged four minutes and 1.6 points a game as a freshman during Florida's second straight national championship season. Powell also was in the news in February for allegedly throwing a punch as Vanderbilt celebrated on its home court following an 83-70 victory over the Gators.
Powell was considered one of the better perimeter defenders on Donovan's 2006-07 team, but his status on the depth chart will be challenged by the arrival of guards Nick Calathes and Jai Lucas and returning guard Walter Hodge.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz was used in this report.