Sheriff on UK's Hatcher: 'I just hate he made the choice he made'
FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - A star player for the University of Kentucky football team and former Trinity High School graduate has been dismissed from the program after he was charged with two felonies.
"You know the importance of recruiting the best players in your state," UK Head Football Coach Mark Stoops said when he signed Jason Hatcher.
Signing Trinity High's Jason Hatcher was a big get for Stoops. The talented defensive end had been recruited by the likes of USC. Before his freshman season, Hatcher said of his decision to go to Kentucky, "It's mind blowing for real, but I know it's the best choice for me and my family."
Investigators said Hatcher didn't make the best choice just before 1 a.m. Monday. A Franklin County Sheriff's deputy clocked Hatcher going 81 in a 70 mile per hour zone on Interstate 64 eastbound near the Frankfort exit.
"As soon as he approached the car and the individual rolled his window down, there was a very strong odor of marijuana," Sheriff Pat Melton said.
Melton said when the deputy went back to his cruiser to get his gloves he said Hatcher started moving around in his Chevy Tahoe.
"He noticed the individual with his cell phone inside using the light on it trying to do something," Melton said, "then he would come back up with a bunch of leaves on his pants and as a result of that, he had a quarter pound stuck down in his pants."
Melton said an additional three quarters of a pound was on the floorboard of the passenger side.
Hatcher is charged with speeding, felony trafficking in marijuana, felony tampering and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hatcher has had a history of drug issues as a player. Stoops suspended Hatcher for the first two games of the 2015-16 season for his troubles with the law. Monday, the coach dismissed him with no additional comment.
"I understand he had a bright future ahead of him," Melton said, "and I just hate he made the choice he made."
Hatcher had also faced a previous marijuana charge along with former Trinity classmate and current University of Louisville star James Quick, it was dropped after he took part in a substance abuse program.
He was released from the Franklin county Jail after his arrest
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