Texas' Brown, Gatewood will not play vs. Ohio State

Updated: September 6, 2006, 9:16 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Texas cornerback Tarell Brown, who was arrested and charged early Monday with misdemeanor drug and weapon charges, has been suspended for the No. 2 Longhorns' game this Saturday against top-ranked Ohio State, coach Mack Brown announced Tuesday.

Tyrell Gatewood, a backup junior linebacker and special teams player who was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, will not play either, Brown said.

"I'm just trying to get through Saturday," Brown said. "As a head coach, No. 1 you have to look at the legal system and cooperate with the authorities completely. No. 2, you must go through the university because that's who we work for. No. 3, you are concerned about distractions for your football team. We want to move forward because it's No. 1 playing No. 2 and it's such an exciting game for all of us.

"No. 4, you care about the three young men involved and their families. We will try to help the families individually and move forward with our team for the ballgame on Saturday."

Brown did not say if the suspensions would extend beyond Saturday's game.

"We've got good players and good coaches and we will be ready to play," he said.

Also Tuesday, the lawyer representing the suspended players alleged Travis County deputies unnecessarily used Tasers on his clients. Lawyer Jamie Balagia said he wants a videotape of the arrest made public.

"They were both unnecessarily tasered," Balagia said in a story posted Tuesday on the Austin American-Statesman's Web site. "If a tape is there, let them release it to the media."

Travis County Sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade declined comment on the case.

"We don't respond until we get to court," Wade said.

The loss of Brown, a senior and Texas' top cover corner, represents a huge blow to a defensive unit considered the Longhorns' strength this season. Brown was likely to draw the assignment of covering Buckeye wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., one of Ohio State's top playmakers.

The Longhorns could start junior Brandon Foster or sophomore Ryan Palmer. Foster has played in 22 games and Palmer in 10 last season. Neither has been a starter.

Brown was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, a loaded 9 mm handgun, a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of under 2 ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor.

Gatewood and former Texas linebacker Aaron Harris were charged with the same drug misdemeanor.

The attorney for Brown and Gatewood said Monday that Gatewood legally purchased the gun earlier this year and that neither of them smoked the marijuana found in the car.

The gun charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The drug charge carries a maximum of 180 days in a jail and a $2,000 fine.

Brown and Gatewood were released on personal recognizance bond Monday afternoon and Harris was released later in the day.

According to the arrest affidavit filed by Travis County deputies, the three were in a car Harris was driving on Interstate 35 about 2:50 a.m. A deputy pulled the group over after watching the car weave erratically and nearly strike another car.

According to the report, Harris got out of the car when pulled over and Brown and Gatewood were asleep. Harris passed a field sobriety test but told the deputy he had been smoking marijuana and there was "some" in the car.

When deputies approached the vehicle they saw Brown, who was sitting in the back seat asleep, with his hand on a gun in his lap.

Under state law, a person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club.

The officers also reported finding a marijuana "blunt" under the front seat and charged all three with possession. Only Brown was charged with a weapons violation.

Balagia said Gatewood bought the gun at a store and left it in the car after going to a shooting range a couple weeks earlier.

Balagia said Brown picked up the gun only after it slid out from under the front seat and intended to bring it inside when the players got home.

"It was in his lap but he was not intentionally violating the law," Balagia said. "Tarell does nothing to suggest he's doing anything illegal or intentionally violating the law. I think what we have is a misunderstanding."

Balagia also said Brown and Gatewood underwent urine tests at school Monday to prove they didn't smoke the marijuana.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE