|Thursday, December 5
Controversy again finds tight end Levasseur
ESPN.com news services
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A University of Arizona football player has been arrested on felony drug trafficking charges after he was stopped in Illinois with 87 pounds of marijuana.
Junior tight end Justin Levasseur was pulled over for speeding Tuesday morning by a state trooper near Geneseo, about 140 miles west of Chicago, police said. The trooper then found the marijuana and arrested Levasseur on drug possession and trafficking charges.
Levasseur was a part of a late-season controversy involving Arizona coach John Mackovic, who admitted to berating the player during a game against UCLA on Nov. 9.
Levasseur said Mackovic called him "a disgrace to his family" and "an embarrassment to the team."
Levasseur, a 22-year-old from Antioch, Calif., led all Arizona tight ends with 11 catches for 143 yards. He caught two touchdown passes in Arizona's 52-41 victory over California this season, a week after Mackovic had criticized his play.
A passenger, Max Necochea, 22, of Mission Viejo, Calif., also was arrested on drug and unlawful use of weapons charges. Police said the marijuana has a street value of about $150,000.
Both men were in the Henry County Jail on Thursday. Bail was set at $300,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday at 1 p.m.
If convicted of the felony drug charges, they could face up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
Mackovic said he was aware of the arrest and had spoken with Levasseur's parents. No decision has been made yet on his team status, the coach said in a statement.
"I am aware of the situation, and I have spoken with Justin's parents. University of Arizona athletics director Jim Livengood and I will speak with Justin, and his family, before any determination of his team status can be made.
"Also, in legal matters, the athletics department has a pres-cribed course of investigation and review committed to the student-athlete's welfare and rights."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.