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Capel faces marijuana charge


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 26, 2001

Brooksville's John Capel, who represented the United States in last year's Olympics and was drafted by the NFL's Chicago Bears last month, is facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

It's the second drug-related check against the 22-year-old this year; the receiver also tested positive for marijuana at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Capel, a former Florida receiver, has not signed with the Bears, who picked him in the seventh round. Friday, Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said the team was aware of the charges and was gathering information, but declined to comment further. If Capel makes the Bears roster, he likely would have to enter the league's substance abuse program.

Just after midnight on May 5, Capel was pulled over for a traffic stop by an Alachua County sheriff's deputy, who, upon reaching a car window, noticed a "very strong odor of marijuana," a report said.

Less than 20 grams of marijuana was found in a bag on the floor, and an unnamed passenger told the officer that Capel had asked him to take the marijuana from the car's center console and put it in the bag. Capel and the passenger denied owning the drugs.

Capel did not return messages left with his parents and agent Friday. He has been in Chicago participating in the team's off-season conditioning program.

MORE FOOTBALL: An NCAA committee recommended the three Division I classes be retained, but with tighter conditions for membership in I-A for the nation's largest colleges. The Division I Football Oversight Committee asked for recommendations for specific criteria from its membership subcommittee.

SOFTBALL: Nicole Giordano scored on a two-out throwing error in the top of the eighth inning and top-seeded Arizona beat Oklahoma 5-4 in a winners bracket game of the World Series at Oklahoma City.

WOMEN'S GOLF: Duke's Candy Hanneman beat Arizona's Lorena Ochoa in a playoff at Howey-in-the-Hills and Georgia won its first team title.

Hanneman won with a 7-foot par putt on the first extra hole after they tied at 69-285. Georgia, which began four strokes behind Duke, beat the Blue Devils by three strokes with a 24-over 1176 total.

South Florida, using four players after Kelly Martin withdrew, was 23rd of 24 teams at 313-1,251.

MEN'S GOLF: Florida Southern's Steve Sokol won a playoff over Kevin Warrick for the individual title, but Warrick led West Florida to the team championship in the Division II tournament at Allendale, Mich.

MEN'S TENNIS: No. 3 Matias Boeker of Georgia and No. 7 Guilaume Legat of South Carolina were the only seeded players to advance in the individual event at Athens, Ga. No. 1 Marco Baron of Mississippi State and No. 5 Genius Chidzikwe of SMU lost. Florida's Olivier Levant and Nathan Overholser lost to Amer Delic and Graydon Oliver of Illinois 6-4, 7-6.

WOMEN'S TENNIS: Florida's Whitney Laiho and Jessica Lehnhoff defeated top seeds Lauren Kalvaria and Lauren Barnikow of Stanford 6-2, 6-3 to reach today's doubles championship match at Stone Mountain, Ga. The Gators meet another Stanford duo, Laura Granville and Gabriela Lastra, for the title. In singles, Kalvaria and defending champion Granville meet in the final.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Virginia sophomore Schuye LaRue, a first-team all-ACC pick this season, said she is leaving to play professionally in Europe.

MEN'S LACROSSE: Defending champion Syracuse makes its 19th straight appearance in the semifinals today when it faces Notre Dame, and Towson, 3-10 last season, faces Princeton, which is in its eighth final four in 10 years.

- Times wires contributed to this report.

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