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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Drug Charge Dropped Agains Texas Cornerback

Texas cornerback Tarell Brown had the drug charge against him dropped Friday, but the gun charge remained and a team spokesman said Brown would not play Saturday against No. 1 Ohio State.

Brown has tested negative on a drug screening for cocaine and marijuana administered by the university, his attorney Jamie Balagia told ESPN's Joe Schad on Wednesday.

Brown was arrested with backup junior linebacker Tyrell Gatewood and former Texas linebacker Aaron Harris. Gatewood and Harris were charged with the same drug misdemeanor.

Balagia told ESPN late Wednesday that Gatewood also tested negative for marijuana and cocaine in a university-administered test. Gatewood has been suspended for Saturday's game as well.

"He came back clean as a whistle," Balagia said of Brown's test results. "I'm afraid it may be too late to help him play on Saturday, though. I wish Coach [Mack] Brown had waited before he made his decision, but I understand coach was upset that Tarell was out at 3 in the morning. I'll advise Tarell to go make one more personal plea to Coach Brown to play this week."

The university will not comment on any drug test results, school spokesman John Bianco said.

"I'm just trying to get through Saturday," Mack Brown said Tuesday when he announced the suspensions of Tarell Brown and Gatewood. "As a head coach, No. 1 you have to look at the legal system and cooperate with the authorities completely. No. 2, you must go through the university because that's who we work for. No. 3, you are concerned about distractions for your football team. We want to move forward because it's No. 1 playing No. 2 and it's such an exciting game for all of us.

"No. 4, you care about the three young men involved and their families. We will try to help the families individually and move forward with our team for the ballgame on Saturday."

Mack Brown did not say if the suspensions would extend beyond Saturday's game.

The loss of Brown, a senior and Texas' top cover corner, represents a huge blow to a defensive unit considered the Longhorns' strength this season. He was likely to draw the assignment of covering Buckeye wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., one of Ohio State's top playmakers.

The Longhorns could start junior Brandon Foster or sophomore Ryan Palmer. Foster has played in 22 games and Palmer in 10 last season. Neither has been a starter.


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