Drug charges dropped against Georgia LB Natrez Patrick
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) A marijuana possession charge against Georgia starting inside linebacker Natrez Patrick was dismissed Thursday, apparently clearing the way for him to play in the Rose Bowl semifinal game.
Coach Kirby Smart has not commented on Patrick's status for the Jan. 1 contest against Oklahoma.
The Athens Banner-Herald reported that the misdemeanor charge against Patrick was dropped, according to Barrow County probate court clerk Meredith Owens. Backup receiver Jayson Stanley negotiated an agreement to plead guilty to possession of marijuana of less than an ounce and speeding, while a DUI drug charge was dismissed.
Patrick was facing dismissal from the team under Georgia athletic rules for a third violation of the drug and alcohol policy.
Stanley is facing a mandatory one-game suspension as a first-time marijuana offender.
The two were arrested during a traffic stop just hours after No. 3 Georgia's 28-7 victory over Auburn in the Southeastern Conference championship game. A video of the incident showed Stanley acknowledging the marijuana was his and pleading with officers not to charge Patrick.
Patrick's attorney, Billy Healen, told the Banner-Herald that Patrick was awaiting word on his status with the football team.
"I would hope they would take into consideration that he was not found guilty of any crime," Healen said.
Patrick, a junior from Atlanta, has started seven games this season. He is sixth on the team with 35 tackles, including 2 1-2 for losses.
Stanley is a key contributor on special teams.
Another Georgia player, freshman defensive back Latavious Brini, is facing a felony forgery charge over allegations he passed a counterfeit $100 bill last summer. He was freed on $5,700 bond after his arrest Tuesday.
Brini has not played this season and was likely to take a redshirt.
School policy calls for an immediate suspension from competition for a felony arrest, pending a review by an athletic department committee.
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Updated December 14, 2017