In light of recent misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges stemming from an April 6 brawl â€“ as well as a police report detailing the discovery of possible illegal drugs in two football playersâ€™ homes â€“ junior linebacker Mike Orakpoâ€™s lawyer is stepping in to refute the charges and claims.
While Erik Fischer, Orakpoâ€™s lawyer, was unable to provide a comment to the Collegian by deadline, he spoke to the Denver Post, saying the freshmen who claimed to be assaulted in the April 6 incident had instigated the fight.
The players involved, including Orakpo, junior defensive end Nordly Capi and junior defensive end Colton Paulhus, were each charged in the fight and have been suspended indefinitely from the football team by coach Jim McElwain.
Donald William Gocha, the freshman health and exercise science major who was knocked unconscious during the altercation, also received a disorderly conduct charge.
In addition to the fight, Fischer said details Fort Collins police officers wrote in a 90-page police report released Thursday were false, calling the alleged discovery of used syringes and vials of clear liquid in Orakpoâ€™s room “made up crap from the Fort Collins police department.”
The police report went on to say that officers found a box for a kit used to skew the results of a marijuana drug test in Orakpo and junior defensive end Nordly Capiâ€™s living room. But, since Capi and Orakpo have roommates, the box could not be linked to either of them.
“What is a marijuana masking kit?” Fischer said. “There is no effective way to mask marijuana use. The NCAA understands how to test for these things.”
In a separate search for evidence linked to the April 6 fight, police also found evidence of anabolic steroids in junior defensive end Colton Paulhusâ€™ home. According to the report, however, Paulhus told police he had a prescription for the steroids and, while the syringes found in his possession did have a prescription label on them, Paulhus couldnâ€™t produce the prescription to police.
In addition to complying with the NCAAâ€™s mandatory, year-round drug testing program, CSU student athletes are also tested through the universityâ€™s own program.
An athleteâ€™s positive drug result with the NCAA â€“ as well as with CSU â€“ results in a mandatory 365-day suspension from competition.
Possession of anabolic steroids is a Class 4 felony, which could lead to two to six years in prison and fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000. Linda Jensen, the public-information officer for the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, told the Post she could not say whether or not additional charges would be added to the disorderly conduct misdemeanors the players have been charged with.
â€œAnytime that concern is raised, itâ€™s very unsettling,â€ said CSUâ€™s Senior Associate Athletic Director Gary Ozzello in regards to drug use among university athletes.
â€œFirst and foremost, we want to educate our athletes and make sure theyâ€™re aware of the dangers of drug use.â€
According to the CSU drug-testing policy, educational efforts include an annual presentation to each team about the drug programâ€™s purpose, the distribution of updated lists of university banned drug classes and special workshops, lectures or seminars.
â€œOur goal is to eliminate it (drug use) in every form,â€ Ozzello added.
News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at email@example.com.