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By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky junior running back Raymond Sanders did not have marijuana in his possession when he was cited on that charge Thursday based on what the player told his father.
Sanders was charged with possession of marijuana along with teammates Bookie Cobbins and Marcus Caffey and cited to appear in court Oct. 9. Sanders and Cobbins were suspended for UK’s overtime loss to Western Kentucky Saturday and have been reinstated to the team this week. Caffey is academically ineligible this season.

Raymond Sanders Jr. said Wednesday that his son does not live at the Cooperstown Apartments with Cobbins and Caffey where the citations were issued.

“Based on what my son told me, he stopped by there after getting a haircut. I told him if he smelled marijuana, he should not have gone inside because he had too much to lose but he said he didn’t smell anything,” Sanders Jr. said. “Now obviously, I was not with him, but I believe him. He told (UK coach) Joker (Phillips) that he had one or two puffs (of marijuana) and was waiting on a ride home to his place, and when he went outside the police were there and ordered him back inside.

“He can’t wait to go to court. Joker gave him a drug test. He’s never failed a drug test at Kentucky. It hurt my heart to even hear this, but I want people to know my son is not a pot-head. Anybody can get caught in the wrong spot, wrong situation. If you do get caught, you suffer the consequences like he has. But he’s not a bad kid.”

Sanders was a member of Beta Club and Students Against Drunk Driving at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga. He was also a three-sport standout.

At Kentucky, he’s played in 20 games and has 562 yards rushing and 137 yards receiving. He’s scored five touchdowns and had a career-high 115 yards rushing, including a 67-yard scoring run, against Kent State in UK’s second game. He played in only four games last season because of injuries, but was one of UK’s leaders during off-season workouts.

“He has done well this week. He has been quiet and humbled,” Phillips said Wednesday when asked about Sanders. “I think he will be fine. He is a guy that is embarrassed. He has lot of pride. He carries himself like that. His pride has been damaged and his reputation has been damaged, and rightfully so. Those things he has control of and are things he has to live with. But he has been great.”

Sanders’ father admits it has been frustrating to read and hear that his son was in  possession of marijuana when he says that is not true.

“How can the police charge him with possession (of marijuana) when none of it was his?” Sanders Jr. said. “We didn’t bring our son up that way. He is not one that will be walking around with marijuana in his pocket. He’s never failed a drug test. If he was a pot-head, he would.

“I just want everyone to know the facts or wait and get the facts when they go to court before they judge my son. I’ve seen where people say he’s a bad kid and should be kicked off the team. But he’s not a bad kid. If he had possession of marijuana, he should be thrown off the team. But he didn’t based on what he told me.”

18 Responses to Father says Raymond Sanders not a bad kid, was not in possession of marijuana

  • scott says:

    Larry as a UK fan that also doubles as a police officer, so of his dads statements just don’t make sense…he says he was not in possession of marijuana but he had “one or two puffs” now at some point he was in possession of it and in some manner under the influence of it..since ky passes a new house bill possession of marijuana is noe only a citeable offense, so he wad lucky he didn’t go jail. He had his punishment, and that’s all that should happen but be honest about what actually happened

    • larryvaught says:

      Things happen to us all when we are young that we learn from. As I said from the start, all this about Raymond stunned me. One of the really good kids, workers to be around. His dad just does not want fans thinking he does things like this all the time. He made a mistake obviously, and now has to live with that as Joker noted. But makes it easier to understand why Joker is putting him back in the rotation this week

  • Burlson says:

    Really?

  • RJ says:

    I remember being that young and being in the wrong place at the wrong time where some guys were drinking under age. I caught a break and it didn’t ruin my life. But I also learned something about the law. It doesn’t matter and it doesn’t care. If you are there when a law is broken, you are in posession. I hope Raymond catches a break and I hope he learns, as I did, that your “friends” can get your life ruined for you in less than a heart beat. If that lesson is not learned, it will happen again.

  • Juan4UK says:

    Not a big deal.

  • Bill says:

    Not everyone prejudges. Unfortunately, there are too many that have nothing better to do that blog personally derogatory comments about individuals they don’t know as well as being hypercritical and negative over situations and circumstances that have no basis in fact. Ignore them and you take away their “power.” I think the majority of Kentucky fans are fair.

    • larryvaught says:

      Very good point Bill. And Jaggerswagger, feel the same way about Raymond. Why this stunned me so, but as John and his dad both pointed out, he made a bad decision that he must not make again by even going into something like that

    • Kokomo Joe says:

      A few years ago a UL football player…I think that his name was Williams…was caught with pot. Message boards were filled with negative comments about the “thugs” that played at UL. IMO fans are “fair” when considering the transgressions of players from the team that they support. I’d say that this is an opportunity for a lesson learned by fans of any team. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your guy can’t ever do wrong or that the other team’s guy is always wrong.

      • larryvaught says:

        Excellent perspective Kokomo. Just glad when I was 18-22 that not everything I did was scrutinized. Did a lot of things at that age that were not very smart

  • johnl says:

    The last thing any parent wants to do is admit that their kid is involved with drugs.Nut if it waddles like a duck,quacks like a duck,and swims like a duck,you have to believe it’s duck.Hopefully UK takes hair samples of athletes for their drug testing as drug residue stays in hair follicles for several days after injesting .

    • Juan4UK says:

      WOW, sounds like you have it all figured out. It’s sounds nice…. in theory. Theory is a nice place, with rainbows and unicorns even.

  • JAGGERSWAGGER says:

    Larry, I know this young man personally and he is a good young man I hope this is a learning experience for him and he realize that life is about CDC that stands for CHOICES,DECISIONS,CONSEQUENCES Raymond (TRE) Do not let this be a derailment but a detour you know where you are trying go so stay on the straight and narrow path and everything will be ok.

  • shinny says:

    Take it out on the Gators Raymond!!!

  • Kokomo Joe says:

    He has a court date. We will see at that time if he is guilty. In the meantime I’d cut him some slack. If he proves to have been smoking dope I’d say that we’d hold him responsible for breaking the law and violating Joker’s drug policy: if he has a policy. Remember that Dirk Minniefield claims that he and others used dope during the Joe Hall era and played high at times. If that is true would we have been down with it? If these three were smoking dope were they the exception or is it more common that we think? Either it is boys will be boys and a wink and a nod or coaches need a stated and equally supported policy. We can’t have it both ways.

  • Tana says:

    Like you, Larry, I had been shocked to learn what Raymond Sanders’ violation of team rules had been. Actually, I had been quite surprised he had violated any rule. As I had shared here, I had met and talked with Raymond the day of our women’s clinic this year. He had remembered that and spoke with me again at Fan Day. What I observed on those two occasions had matched everything I had previously read and heard about Raymond Sanders. His dad is “right.” Raymond Sanders is NOT a “bad kid,” quite the opposite. Yet, he made a very bad decision and is now facing consequences for it, including the temporary loss of his stellar reputation.

    Ironically, as soon as I had heard two others had been involved, I had guessed the name of one of the players — one who had seemed somewhat immature to me when I had met him that same day. Now I know that Raymond himself, too, had still needed to mature. I suspect Raymond, as many youngsters have done, bowed to peer pressure, choosing to be “cool.” I’m also suspecting that Raymond, especially through embarrassment and the feeling of letting down his teammates, is now well on the way to being the MAN I had already thought he was. I’m behind you, Raymond — and best of luck in your future. GO CATS!!!

  • Kokamo Joe says:

    I don’t know Raymond Sanders. I’ll take the word of those who have posted on this board that he is a good young man. This begs the question of why would a good young man who has the good fortune to be able to play SEC football and recieve a college education be foolish enough to put that in danger by breaking the law and I assume breaking Joker Phillips rules? Another question. Is pot smoking and other drug usage by college students so common that we are making more of this than we should? Joker, the University and the fan base need to decide whether smoking pot and the use of other drugs, including alcohol are to be forbidden to college ahtletes. If they are the coaches need hard and fast rules. If they are not we need to back off. As it is now, Joker by suspending these three for one game is sending two messages. (1) don’t do it. (2) if you get caught a slap on the wrist and a pat on the back is your punishment. A common sense opinion would be that if this good young man is smoking pot then a whale of a lot of other college athletes across the country are using drugs and coaches are hoping that they won’t get caught.

    • larryvaught says:

      Kokamo, Raymond’s father says his son made a mistake. So did Joker. So will Raymond I am sure. But you make some very good points

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