Washington State reserve wide receiver Drew Loftus will have some explaining to do when football coach Mike Leach returns from his latest recruiting trip.
Pullman police arrested the 19-year-old early Friday morning at Dissmore’s IGA grocery store when Loftus tried to steal two bottles of tequila by pushing them down his pants, per a report from WSU’s student newspaper.According to The Daily Evergreen, Pullman police said Loftus tried to casually buy eggs at the checkout stand while he hid the tequila in his waistband. Taken into custody on charges of third-degree theft, minor in possession of alcohol and public intoxication, the Kennewick native’s drunken heist was thwarted by a manager as he tried to walk out of the store.
After being confronted, a drunken Loftus tried to return the alcohol to the shelf. Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant was unimpressed by the gesture.
“You can’t get more possession than shoving it down your pants,” he told the Daily Evergreen.
Loftus, who walked on at WSU after transferring from the University of Hawaii, isn’t unfamiliar with the back of a police cruiser. Kennewick authorities arrested him when he was 18 on suspicion of car prowling and being a minor under the influence.
Stealing is one of three of Leach’s “zero-tolerance” rules his football players must follow. The other forbidden acts are consumption of illegal substances and hitting women. Former WSU nose tackle Anthony Laurenzi was kicked off the team for stealing a pair of headphones from Wal-Mart last summer. Loftus caught one pass for 37 yards last season.
A spokesperson for WSU said coaches are aware of the situation and the matter will be handled internally.
However, if the history of Leach’s disciplinary tactics is any hint, it would take a miracle for Loftus to return to the team.
Running back/punt returner arrested for DUI
Redshirt junior Leon Brooks had a week he would like to forget. The Cougars top punt returner was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of DUI by a Whitman County sheriff’s deputy when he turned into the far lane on Stadium Way.
After officers asked the 21-year-old to conduct a field sobriety test, he allegedly blew a 0.088, then a 0.092 a few minutes later. Brooks is set to appear in court Feb. 7.
Brooks’ future with the football program might not be over, given the way Leach has handled players arrested for DUI’s. Cougar offensive lineman Denzell Dotson was arrested on suspicion of DUI last April and also blew between 0.08 and 0.09.
He remains with the team.
Khalil Pettway forced to hang up his cleats
Khalil Pettway’s short-lived WSU career is over. Leach said Monday he placed the redshirt freshman linebacker on medical scholarship.
Pettway did not practice for much of the season and was absent from the sidelines after playing sparingly during fall camp. A source close to the situation said the highly touted prospect out of California’s Culver City High School suffered too many concussions to continue his playing career.
Under NCAA rules, medical scholarships are a safety net to ensure college athletes aren’t stripped of their financial aid should they suffer a career-ending injury. Though abused by some coaches such as Alabama head coach Nick Saban in the past, the annually renewable grant automatically makes the receiver ineligible to play for the rest of his college career.
Spring practice nears
The Cougars begin spring practices March 21. The annual Crimson and Gray Game is April 20 at Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium. Last year, 10,713 fans attended.