The agent of former Florida Gators linebacker Ronald Powell claimed his client was profiled – not given preferential treatment – during a 2014 traffic stop in Gainesville, Florida, that nearly resulted in Powell being arrested on drug charges.
According to The Times-Picayune, Powell’s agent called ESPN and Outside the Lines‘ description of the incident, in which an officer claims to have found traces of cocaine and linked the player’s driver’s license address to that of a known drug house, a “complete fabrication.”
Agent Peter Schaffer said it was absurd to believe that police let Powell go after finding cocaine in his car — a potential felony — during an incident shortly after Powell was drafted 2014. In truth, Schaffer said, police hassled his client and were disappointed to find nothing to charge him with after profiling him during a traffic stop.
“As Ronald Powell’s agent, I’ve had extensive conversations with him, and the ESPN report is a gross mischaracterization of facts and example of an absolute witch hunt,” Schaffer told The Times-Picayune.
Schaffer further claims that Gainesville police were aggressive in trying to get Powell to admit he had drugs in the rented vehicle, alleging that they targeted him due to his appearance.
The situation is described as a profiling by Schaffer, who lambasted ESPN and OTL for “targeting innocent young players who did nothing wrong.”
Powell’s almost-arrest was highlighted as part of an OTL report released Sunday that focused on arrest, charge and conviction rates among student-athletes in major college towns.
The Gators were found to have the most football and men’s basketball athletes named in criminal investigations from 2009-14 with 80 players (24 percent of the combined rosters) cited for more than 100 crimes during that six-year span.