3 UK players charged with marijuana possession remain with team, Phillips says

jsmith3@herald-leader.com vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comSeptember 17, 2012 

Campus police have charged three University of Kentucky football players with possession of marijuana.

Running back Raymond Sanders, cornerback Marcus Caffey and wide receiver Bookie Cobbins were all cited Thursday night, according to a uniform citation filed by UK Police. They are due in Fayette District Court Oct. 9.

The citation states that while on patrol near the 700 block of Woodland Avenue around 9:55 p.m. on Thursday, an officer noticed a "strong scent of marijuana was coming from the basement area" of a building at Cooperstown Apartments.

Each player admitted to the officer that he had smoked marijuana, and the drug was found inside the address listed on the citations.

Sanders and Cobbins were suspended for Saturday night's loss to Western Kentucky. Caffey is sitting out this season after failing to qualify academically.

At his weekly Monday news conference, Coach Joker Phillips said that Sanders and Cobbins will be eligible to play at Florida on Saturday.

"Kids don't always do all the things right," Phillips said. "We hold our kids accountable. We disciplined right away. We don't wait. We try to get as many of the facts as we possibly can. We got them on Friday and we disciplined right away."

Sanders is third on the UK depth chart at running back behind Jonathan George and CoShik Williams. George likely will be the starter in Gainesville.

"The way he played, he deserves to be the starter," Phillips said of George's three-touchdown performance against WKU. "CoShik is banged up, won't practice until Thursday. So (George) deserves to be the starter."

Sanders, a 5-foot-8, 190-pound junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., struggled with injury much of last season. But he had seemingly bounced back this season, including a career game against Kent State Sept. 8 with 13 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Cobbins, a 6-foot, 184-pound red-shirt freshman from New Orleans, was recruited to Kentucky as a quarterback. He made the move to wide receiver in the spring, but sat out much of the spring with academic difficulties. He was listed in the Kentucky game notes for having played in a game this season, but he has not caught a pass.

When asked if Caffey, an academic casualty this season, was going to remain with the team after this transgression, Phillips said he would.

"We're in the business of making sure the kids have an opportunity to succeed," he said. "We're not a rehab center ... We love Marcus and a lot of us, this is all we got. We'll go with him until we feel like we can't take it anymore. We've gone with other kids (before). This is all he has and we'll continue to stick by him and help him get through all these things."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears

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