EUGENE, Ore. -- EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla, who left the second-ranked Ducks earlier this month following a one-game suspension for violating team rules, was in custody Thursday after his arrest on drug-related charges in Eugene.
The sheriff's office said in a statement that Lyerla was observed by a drug investigation unit snorting a white powdery substance while sitting in a parked car Wednesday. The 20-year-old Lyerla was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of cocaine and interfering with a police officer.
When he decided to leave the Ducks, Lyerla said it was to pursue an NFL career. He had been suspended for Oregon's Oct. 5 game at Colorado by coach Mark Helfrich for an unspecified violation of team rules.
At the time, Lyerla told Oregon's athletics website, GoDucks.com, that his withdrawal from school had nothing to do with that suspension.
"I love everyone at Oregon; everyone's on good terms, I believe," Lyerla said. "Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on."
Along with missing Oregon's 57-16 victory over the Buffaloes, he also sat out Oregon's 59-14 win over Tennessee earlier this season because of illness. Oregon does not disclose injuries, so after the game Helfrich described his absence as "circumstances."
Lyerla then complained to The Oregonian newspaper that he felt the description could be unfairly interpreted. He later apologized for airing his frustration publicly and said he never meant to be a distraction. Both he and Helfrich said they'd discussed the matter and moved on.
The former star from Hillsboro High School, west of Portland, caught three passes for 26 yards as a junior for the Ducks this season. For his career, he had 34 receptions for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"If he felt this was best for him, that's OK. We talked about it and we moved on," Helfrich said a day after Lyerla left the program. "We wished him absolutely nothing but the best, and he wished us nothing but the best. There was no 'smoking gun,' so to speak."
Lyerla also landed in the doghouse this summer after he tweeted support of conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of his posts concerned the parents of the young victims.
The school issued a strongly worded statement condemning the post.
"Twitter posts attributed to student-athlete Colt Lyerla concerning the tragedy at Sandy Hook are insensitive and offensive, especially those devastated by the shootings, and we have communicated as much to Colt," the statement said.
He also missed the first several days of fall camp his sophomore year for personal reasons.
After his arrest Wednesday, Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff wrote on Twitter: "God be with my former teammate!!!"
The Lane County Sheriff's office release said detectives were working on an unrelated case when they observed Lyerla.
"Lyerla was contacted by police and admitted to using and possessing cocaine," said the release, prepared by Sgt. Steve French.
Detectives arranged to meet Lyerla at his residence to continue the investigation, but once there he ran from his car into a nearby apartment, the release said. He was arrested when he emerged a short time later.
Lyerla was being held in the Lane County Jail on Thursday.
Also on HuffPost:
Rolando McClain, LB - Oakland Raiders
Rolando McClain of the Oakland Raiders <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/01/09/rolando-mcclain-arrested-profane-signature/1820709/">was arrested</a> on charges stemming from a window tint violation and providing false information to police, according to USA Today.
Chris Rainey, RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Rainey was charged with <a href="http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gator_clause/2013/01/former-gators-and-current-steelers-rb-chris-rainey-arrested-on-battery-charge.html#storylink=cpy">one count of simple battery</a> after an altercation with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 in Florida, according to the Miami Herald.
Robert Sands, S - Cincinnati Bengals
Sands, who spent the 2012 season on injured reserve, was charged with <a href="http://www.kypost.com/dpps/sports/football/bengals/bengals-safety-robert-sands-arrested-on-domestic-assault-charges_8140882#ixzz2HEJKLsWK">assault and domestic violence</a> against his wife following an incident on January 5, according to the KY Post.
Andre Smith, T - Cincinnati Bengals
Smith was arrested on January 18, 2013 for allegedly trying to bring a gun aboard a plane in Atlanta, <a href="http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/sports/football/bengals/bengals-offensive-lineman-andre-smith-arrested-after-allegedly-bringing-gun-to-airport" target="_blank">according to WCPO News.</a>
Jay Ratliff, DT - Dallas Cowboys
Jay Ratliff of the Dallas Cowboys was arrested for a DUI after crashing his truck into an 18-wheeler in Texas on January 22, <a href="http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/8870962/jay-ratliff-dallas-cowboys-arrested-charged-dwi" target="_blank">according to ESPN Dallas</a>.
Leroy Hill, LB - Seattle Seahawks
Leroy Hill of the Seattle Seahawks was arrested for domestic violence on January 30, <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeKOMOsports/status/296559008523898880" target="_blank">according to KOMO-TV in Seattle</a>.
Michael Boley, LB - New York Giants
New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley reportedly turned himself into police on February 8 and was booked on charges of child abuse in Alabama, <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2013/05/02/michael-boley-arrested-child-abuse-new-york-giants/" target="_blank">according to TMZ.com</a>.
Da'Quan Bowers, DE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Da'Quan Bowers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was arrested for carrying a gun at an airport in New York City on February 18, <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/DaQuan-Bowers-Arrested-LaGuardia-Airport-Gun-Possession-NFL-Tampa-Bay-Buccaneers-Rookie-Defensive-End-191722191.html" target="_blank">according to NBC New York</a>.
J'Marcus Webb, OT - Chicago Bears
Webb was arrested on February 24 for misdemeanor drug charges and possession of cannabis in Pulaski County, Ill. <a href="http://www.kfvs12.com/story/21414933/chicago-bears-player-facing-drug-charges-in-pulaski-county" target="_blank">according to KFVS in Chicago</a>.
Desmond Bryant, DT - Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami for criminal mischief on February 24, <a href="http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/02/24/raiders-desmond-bryant-arrested/" target="_blank">according to Pro Football Talk</a>.
Moise Fokou, LB - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Moise Fokou was arrested for a DUI in January, <a href="http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/capitalcomment/crime/nfl-player-moise-fokou-charged-with-dui.php" target="_blank">according to the Washingtonian magazine</a>.
Brandon Barden, TE - Tennessee Titans
Titans tight end Brandon Barden was arrested for a DUI on February 23, <a href="http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/Tennessee-Titans-tight-end-arrested-in-Lincoln-Co-193898241.html" target="_blank">according to WRDW-TV in Georgia</a>.
Javarris James, RB - Arizona Cardinals
James was arrested in Lee County, Fla. on March 7 for failure to appear in court, <a href="http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2013/mar/07/immokalee-football-standout-javarris-james-arreste/" target="_blank">according to the Naples News</a>.
Quinton Carter, S - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos free safety Quinton Carter <a href="http://wp.me/p14QSB-7CGd" target="_blank">was arrested for committing fraud</a> in a casino on March 9, according to the Associated Press.
Evan Rodriguez, TE - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears fullback and tight end Evan Rodriguez was arrested for disorderly conduct on March 20, <a href="http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/03/21/chicago-bears-te-arrested-in-miami-beach/" target="_blank">according to CBS Miami</a>. On May 31, he was charged with a DUI, <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/05/31/bears-fullback-evan-rodriguez-ticketed-for-dui/" target="_blank">per CBS Chicago</a>.
Trumaine Johnson, CB - St. Louis Rams
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was arrested on March 22 for a DUI, <a href="http://www.kpax.com/news/ex-griz-trumaine-johnson-arrested-for-dui/#_" target="_blank">according to KPAX in Montana</a>.
Amari Spievey, S - Detroit Lions
Safety Amari Spievey was arrested for third-degree assault, risk of injury to a child and disorderly conduct on March 26 after a dispute over child support, <a href="http://www.middletownpress.com/articles/2013/03/27/news/doc51533cd82c06c557484524.txt?viewmode=fullstory" target="_blank">per the Middletown Press</a>.
Quentin Groves, LB - Arizona Cardinals
Groves was arrested during a prostitution sting in Ohio on April 17, <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/browns/team/1366818583-932-803/browns-linebacker-quentin-groves-arrested.html" target="_blank">according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer</a>.
William Moore, S - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore was arrested on April 18 for simple battery, <a href="http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-falcons/2013/apr/18/report-william-moore-arrested-battery-charge/" target="_blank">according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution</a>.
Ronnell Lewis, DE - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams was arrested for disturbing the peace, public intoxication and interfering with official procedure at a bar on April 20, <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9204463/ronnell-lewis-detroit-lions-arrested-ou-bar-altercation" target="_blank">per ESPN.com</a>.
Daryl Washington, LB - Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals linebacker was arrested on May 3 for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, <a href="https://twitter.com/miagarciafox10/status/330396679108956161" target="_blank">according to FOX 10 in Phoenix</a>.
Armonty Bryant, DL - Cleveland Browns
The 2013 seventh-round draft pick was arrested for a DUI in Ada, Okla. on May 3, <a href="http://theadanews.com/local/x6224833/Former-ECU-athlete-arrested" target="_blank">according to the Ada News</a>.
Mike Goodson, RB - New York Jets
New York Jets running back Mike Goodson was arrested on May 17 for drug possession and weapons charges, <a href="http://newjersey.news12.com/news/jets-rb-goodson-arrested-on-drug-weapons-offense-1.5282579" target="_blank">according to News 12 New Jersey</a>.
Cody Grimm, S - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Cody Grimm was arrested for public intoxication on May 25, <a href="http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bucs/bucs-grimm-arrested-second-time-in-va-on-public-intoxication/2123568" target="_blank">according to the Tampa Bay Times</a>.
Joe Morgan, WR - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan was arrested for a DUI on May 26, <a href="http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/05/new_orleans_saints_wide_receiv.html" target="_blank">according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune</a>.
Adam Jones, CB - Cincinnati Bengals
Adam Jones was arrested and charged with assault following an altercation with a woman outside of a bar on June 10, <a href="http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130610/SPT02/306100079/Adam-Pacman-Jones-says-he-s-been-arrested" target="_blank">according to the Cincinnati Enquirer</a>.
Jason Peters, OT - Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Peters was arrested for drag racing and fleeing police in Monroe, La. on June 12, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/eagles/2013/06/12/jason-peter-arrested-drag-racing-resisting-arrest/2417467/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter" target="_blank">according to USA Today</a>.
Ausar Walcott, LB - Cleveland Browns
Linebacker Ausar Walcott was released by the Cleveland Browns after being charged with attempted murder for allegedly punching a man outside a club in northern New Jersey on June 23, <a href="http://www.northjersey.com/news/Former_Hackensack_HS_football_star_who_recently_joined_the_NFLs_Browns_is_charged_with_attempted_murder_after_an_incident_in_Passaic.html?page=all" target="_blank">per The Record</a>.
Aaron Hernandez, TE - New England Patriots
Former New England Patriots football tight end Aaron Hernandez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/aaron-hernandez-police-custody_n_3502458.html" target="_blank">was arrested for murder and multiple weapons charges</a> on June 26.
Joe Lefeged, S - Indianapolis Colts
Joe Lefeged was arrested on weapons charges in Washington, D.C. on June 29, <a href="http://www.indystar.com/article/20130629/NEWS/306290022/Colts-safety-Joe-Lefeged-arrested-Washington-D-C-jail-confirms?gcheck=1" target="_blank">The Indianapolis Star reports</a>.
Dan Connor, LB - New York Giants
Dan Connor was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/07/dan-connor-arrested-airport_n_3558545.html" target="_blank">charged with possession of an offensive weapon</a> on July 6 at a Philadelphia airport, according to the Associated Press.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB - New England Patriots
Alfonzo Dennard was arrested and accused of driving drunk in Lincoln, Neb. on July 11, <a href="http://www.omaha.com/article/20130711/NEWS/130719884/1707" target="_blank">according to the Omaha World-Herald</a>.
Eric Wright, CB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wright was arrested on suspicion of DUI on July 12, according to <a href="http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bucs/bucs-trade-wright-to-49ers/2132274" target="_blank">the Tampa Bay Times</a>.
Joe McKnight, RB - New York Jets
McKnight was arrested for unpaid fines and tickets on July 30, <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/jets_rb_mcknight_arrested_on_pair_Uj7qMBL5LVxrb97XvqMMoN" target="_blank">according to the New York Post</a>.