VSU athlete let out of jail for football game - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VSU athlete let out of jail for football game

December 2, 2002

Valdosta - Valdosta State University police stopped 22-year-old Reggie Rhodes Saturday for a minor traffic violation, but soon found he was in violation of his probation for a misdemeanor drug charge he received a year earlier. He was taken to the Lowndes County jail, but released just a few hours later to play for the Blazers in the Division 2 playoffs.

"Our authorities said they thought a situation could be worked out with the local authorities where he could be released to play if he turned himself in after the game," said Herb Reinhard, VSU Athletic Director.

Lowndes county authorities say they released Rhodes to the arresting agency, Valdosta State University Police. They say that release is a completely ethical and common practice. VSU officials say they don't think the action taken was wrong.

"I feel comfortable with the way the situation was handled," said Reinhard.

And although they've never had a situation with another athlete like this before, they're not opposed to making exceptions under certain conditions.

"If it was a misdemeanor charge, we will allow that person to participate in an event but if it was a felony, we would definitely pull them," said Reinhard.

Reinhard says Rhodes will most likely be able to play in this Saturday's semifinal game. "He will probably meet with his probation people this week and I believe everything will be worked out. But if something happens where he shouldn't play, then he will not."

VSU athletic officials do administer random drug testing, and say if Rhodes had tested positive he would have been suspended from the team until undergoing counseling. Rhodes was taken back to the Lowndes County jail after VSU won the game.

posted at 2:30 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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