Editorial: Different rules

Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 4:04 p.m.

Being a college football player has its privileges. Getting a free pass from law enforcement shouldn't be one of them.

The quashing of an arrest warrant for former Gator cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy raises questions about whether he received special treatment.

Purifoy was allegedly caught last month with marijuana and a synthetic drug known as bath salts. An Alachua County sheriff's deputy found Purifoy inside a car parked in Linton Oaks about 11:34 p.m. on March 18 with a marijuana joint and two baggies containing bath salts, according to an arrest warrant.

If the allegations are true, Purifoy is surely guilty of bad judgment. He has been projected to be chosen in the early rounds of next month's NFL draft.

Local law enforcement reportedly offered Purifoy a deal to avoid charges. The Sun reported that Purifoy, who reportedly told deputies he thought the bath salts were the drug MDMA, agreed to work as a drug task force informant. But a source close to the case told The Sun that Purifoy never returned calls from investigators. Because of the alleged lack of cooperation, ASO charged him with drug possession.

An arrest warrant was issued but canceled by a judge. Sheriff Sadie Darnell has questioned whether Gainesville police personnel were involved and GPD is investigating.

A football player caught with drugs shouldn't be treated more harshly than any other college student, who often get deals to drop charges if they complete probation or other requirements. But athletes shouldn't get special treatment either.

Gainesville police need to assure the public that high-profile athletes don't play by different rules than everyone else.

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