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Shepherd dismisses two players

September 27, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

Shepherd University football players Demetrius Weeden and Ayowole Ijelu were dismissed from the team Tuesday after being placed on probation for marijuana-related charges in Berkeley County.

Shepherd coach Monte Cater made the decision to release the players after Weeden and Ijelu reached a plea agreement Monday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Cater could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Weeden, of Waldorf, Md., and Ijelu, of Germantown, Md., both 22, were placed on six months of unsupervised probation after signing no-contest pleas to misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana.

The players, who were starting cornerbacks for the Rams in the first three games of the season, were arrested Sept. 16 with what police said was 27.5 grams of marijuana under the driver's seat. Felony charges were dismissed when an investigation determined that there was no intent to sell the drugs, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Richard Stephens.

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On the football field, Shepherd was forced to adjust for the missing defensive backs. Taros Harris and Dustin Smith moved into the starting defensive backfield for the Rams in a victory at Fairmont last Saturday.

Neither Weedon nor Ijelu was listed on the team roster or depth chart for the Fairmont game.

The 5-foot-10, 181-pound Weedon had 2 1/2 tackles in three games this season. He had eight tackles in 11 games in 2006 after being converted from running back. He rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns as a running back in his first two seasons.

Ijelu was being counted on to replace Dan Peters, who led the nation in interceptions the last two seasons. He had 11 1/2 tackles and two pass breakups in his three games.

The 5-foot-11, 189-pound defensive back had played in 28 games, with eight starts, in his first three seasons with Shepherd, collecting 56 tackles.

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