Pannunzio put on leave following player arrests

Updated: May 10, 2005, 5:21 PM ET
Associated Press

MURRAY, Ky. -- Murray State football coach Joe Pannunzio was reinstated Tuesday after being put on paid administrative leave April 29 following the campus arrests of a player and former player on drug trafficking charges.

Athletic director Allen Ward said at the time that "charges of this severity and magnitude demand stepped-up review of our football program."

Ron Lane, a junior running back, and Terrence Biggers, a former wide receiver, were charged with trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Calloway County court officials. Both Lane and Biggers have pleaded not guilty.

Pannunzio has been the Racers' coach since January 2000 and has a 28-28 record in five seasons. Murray State finished 7-4 last season.

"I will work hard to put the changes in place to build a successful program," Pannunzio said. "It is important for us all to get on the same page and do what is best for Murray State University and its football program."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press