2 UConn football players suspended from team after being arrested

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Nazir K Williams and Felton Alfonzo Blackwell, UConn football players, were arrested on a weapons charge after being pulled over in Storrs on Wednesday night.

Storrs, CT — Two University of Connecticut football players were arrested on a weapons charge after being pulled over in Storrs on Wednesday night.

Police pulled over a motor vehicle with 19-year-olds Nazir K Williams, of Bridgton, NJ, and Felton Alfonzo Blackwell, of Mays Landing, NJ, on Bolton Road around 10 p.m.

“Officers smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from within the vehicle,” according to the police report.

During the search, police said they found a loaded BB Gun, which appeared to be actual firearm. The “loaded BB gun which appeared to be an actual firearm did not have an orange tip/marking indicating that it is a BB gun,” according to the police report. Police said the weapon was within the reach of Blackwell.

The police report shows Williams allowed police to search the car and that’s when they found 4 grams of marijuana, which is an amount so small, it’s just a ticket-able offense.

Williams, who was under 21-years-old, had an open container of vodka on him.

Blackwell and Williams, who are both red-shirt freshmen, were charged with weapons in a motor vehicle. Williams was also charged with possession of alcohol by a minor and possession of less than a half an ounce of marijuana.

UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict and head football coach Bob Diaco said they were “aware” of the incident involving Blackwell and Williams and “take these allegations very seriously,” according to a statement from UConn Athletics.

Blackwell and Williams “have been immediately suspended.”

“The safety of our student-athletes and University community is of the utmost concern for the UConn Division of Athletics,” UConn Athletics said in a statement on Thursday.

UConn Division of Athletics is working with UConn “during the investigation process until the situation is resolved.”

A UConn spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that “federal student privacy laws prevent UConn from discussing whether individual students face discipline cases,” but they said “any UConn student found to have violated the provisions of the Student Code may face penalties that range from probation to expulsion.”

UConn students reacted to the news of the players’ arrests.

“I think everyone deserves a second chance and possession of a small amount of marijuana, come on,” UConn senior Myles Gibbs said. “It’s the 21st century, but in terms of the standards our athletes should maintain, especially in the public eye, standing outside it’s not necessarily a place to have a firearm and have pot on you.”

With their long-term status is still up in the air, students told Eyewitness News they were rooting for them to learn from these mistakes.

“If they want to continue being athletes in the future, they will have to learn from this experience,” UConn junior Cecilia Estanislao said. “They are always in the public eye.”

UConn was preparing for a game this Saturday. As red-shirt freshmen, both players weren’t expected to play in that game.

Blackwell and Williams will be arraigned in Rockville Superior Court on Nov. 1.

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