Louisville Boots Troubled Williams

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville linebacker Willie A. Williams was kicked off the team Thursday, less than 24 hours after his arrest on a marijuana possession charge.

The 22-year-old was dismissed for violating his agreement with athletic director Tom Jurich.

"I'm very disappointed in Willie," Jurich said in a statement. "I was confident that he had turned the corner in his life and was ready to be a valuable contributor to society and our football program."

Williams was one of the top recruits in the country two years ago, but highly publicized legal problems in high school -- 11 arrests -- nearly cost him a scholarship to Miami. He never panned out with the Hurricanes and spent last year at West Los Angeles Community College.

Wednesday night, Louisville police arrested the 6-3, 230-pound Williams after he was stopped for driving a car with the music playing too loudly, said Louisville police spokesman Phil Russell.

A detective searched the car and found Williams trying to hide a small amount of marijuana, Russell said.

"He basically had the marijuana in his mouth," said Russell, who would not release the identities of the others in the car because they were not arrested.

Williams, also charged with tampering with physical evidence and driving without an operator's license, was released on his own recognizance Wednesday night.

Louisville spokesman Rocco Gasparro said Williams hired local attorney Grant Helman to represent him. A phone call to Helman's office Thursday evening by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

He was accepted at Louisville after meeting extensively with Jurich and coach Steve Kragthorpe. He played in three games for the Cardinals (2-2) this season, collecting nine tackles.

Louisville, which began the season ranked in the Top 10 but has lost two straight, plays at North Carolina State on Saturday.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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