Penn State football players Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma were charged Wednesday with possession of a small amount of marijuana, a Class D misdemeanor, after police found the substance in their apartment Sept. 2.
The criminal complaint stated police found "three small clear plastic baggies containing marijuana" in Evans' room. The search also uncovered "a burnt roach containing marijuana" in the room.
The complaint against Koroma read that "a burnt roach containing marijuana" was found in his room.
The amount of marijuana was "less than a gram per person," Penn State assistant police chief Thomas Sowerby told The Associated Press. The charges against the two players were mailed Wednesday, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22.
The maximum penalties for possession of a small amount of marijuana are 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. The players also may face sanctions from Penn State's Office of Judicial Affairs for violating the student code of conduct.
Both Evans and Koroma, starters on the defensive line, were suspended by coach Joe Paterno after the incident and have missed the past two games. They are not expected to play Saturday against Temple, and their status for the remainder of the season is unclear.
Big things were expected this year from Evans, a junior defensive end, after he enjoyed a stellar 2007 season. His 12 1/2 sacks last year rank fourth on PSU's all-time single-season list, and he's No. 5 in tackles for losses in a season with 21 1/2.
There had been speculation Evans might forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft if he had a big year. He has been projected by some analysts as a potential first-round pick.
An early departure now seems unlikely for Evans, a first-team preseason All-America selection by Athlon.
Koroma, a redshirt sophomore, won a starting job at defensive tackle in the preseason. He missed the first four games in 2007 with a broken foot before returning and eventually getting his first-career start in the Alamo Bowl.
Paterno has refused to answer questions about Evans and Koroma.
"I don't want to talk about [it] because it's not going to be helpful any way I answer it," the coach said Tuesday at his weekly press conference.
Police responded to a noise complaint at Nittany Apartments at about 10 p.m. Sept. 2. They discovered the noise was coming from apartment 5204, which is shared by Evans, Koroma, junior tight end Andrew Quarless and junior cornerback A.J. Wallace.
When police arrived at the apartment and an occupant opened the door, they "smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the residence," according to the criminal complaint.
The police subsequently obtained a search warrant and seized marijuana from the apartment.
No charges were filed against Quarless or Wallace.
Quarless initially was suspended for the Oregon State game Sept. 6, though Paterno changed his mind and allowed him to dress. Wallace was not suspended but has seen limited playing time the past two weeks.
Cory Giger is at 949-7031 and firstname.lastname@example.org.