Wash. State Football Players Arrested For 38 Marijuana Plants


Photo: Jon Lok/The Seattle Times
Jamal Atofau

Photo: Jon Lok/The Seattle Times
Andre Barrington

​Police arrested two members of the Washington State Cougars football team early Sunday morning after finding 38 marijuana plants growing in a house they rented with two other people.

Jamal Atofau, a redshirt freshman backup linebacker, and Andre Barrington, a redshirt freshman who is academically ineligible this semester, were busted along with 20-year-old Washington State student Bailey Woods and Zachary Uttech, also 20, according to police records, reports Vince Grippi of The Spokesman-Review.
Pullman Police came to the home on College Hill just north of Beasley Coliseum to serve an unrelated search warrant, said police spokesman Cmdr. Chris Tennant.

Photo: KLEW
Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant: “We’re in a college town; it’s not that unusual to find 5 or 6 plants growing in somebody’s individual bedroom. Thirty-eight plants in a residence is quite a big deal for us.”

​The cannabis plants were discovered growing in a basement room while cops conducted that search, according to Tennant. The officers then got a marijuana-related warrant, searched the room, and seized the plants, growing equipment, and “materials used for distribution,” according to Pullman police.
All four residents, including the two football players, were arrested.
“We’re in a college town; it’s not that unusual to find five or six plants growing in somebody’s individual bedroom,” Tennant said. “Thirty-eight plants in a residence is quite a big deal for us.”
All four men were taken to the Pullman Police Station, booked for “manufacturing marijuana,” a felony, and released on their own recognizance, according to Tennant.
They were charged with violating the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, with severity of charges depending on the weight of the marijuana seized. That will be determined when the plants are dry, Tennant said. (What do you bet they’ll weigh stems, stalks, roots and all?)
Atofau has been suspended from team activities while Coach Paul Wulff “gathers information” about the incident, according to Washington State University Sports Information Director Bill Stevens.
“They are suspended from the team indefinitely for breaking team rules,” Coach Wulff said, reports Cougfan.com.
This is the second run-in with the law for Atofau, who’s a fixture on WSU special teams and backs up linebacker Myron Beck. Last year, the Bellevue native faced an assault charge.
Asked if “strikes” added up for a player, Coach Wulff said “Absolutely.”
Atofau has seen action in five games and has eight tackles for the year. He was the top defensive player for the Bellevue team, a powerhouse in Washington state high school football, reports Tom Wyrwich of The Seattle Times.
Because Barrington is academically ineligible and hasn’t been practicing with the team, suspension was unnecessary.
Academic standing won’t play a major role in the assessment of the players, according to Coach Wulff.
“Not necessarily in academics but any athlete, if you acquire X amount of issues, there comes a point where enough is enough,” Wulff said. “Unfortunately at times you have to make tough decisions and everything isn’t related to legal issues.”
Is this the end of both players’ football careers at WSU?
“I can’t give you that comment yet,” Coach Wulff said.