By Times staff and wire reports
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 21, 2000
FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots suspended cornerback Ty Law for their season finale after he was caught at the Canadian border with the hallucinogenic drug ecstasy.
"It's a closed case," coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. "I really don't think it's appropriate to talk about details and circumstances."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league will determine whether Law violated its substance abuse policy.
Law, who is afraid to fly, was given permission, along with wide receivers Terry Glenn and Troy Brown, to stay in Buffalo after Sunday's game against the Bills so they could wait out a snowstorm.
When Law attempted to cross the border at 5:30 a.m. Monday to catch his return flight, U.S. Customs inspectors searched the car and found pills later identified as MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.
Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute him because the amount of drugs was small. Law paid a $700 fine and was allowed to continue on his way. But he missed his flight and was late for a team meeting, as were Glenn and Brown, who waited for him at the airport.
Glenn and Brown were fined an undisclosed amount. None of the three were in the locker room Wednesday when it was open to reporters.
Tuesday, Law said the drugs were found in a suitcase that belonged to a cousin who stayed at his home and he took it on the trip without checking it first. He said he does not use drugs and apologized for what happened.
BEARS: Quarterback Cade McNown was demoted to backup. Shane Matthews will start Sunday against Detroit.
BENGALS: Coach Dick LeBeau signed a multiyear contract extension. Team president Mike Brown declined to give details. LeBeau has led the team to a 4-8 record since taking over for Bruce Coslet, who resigned Sept. 25 following an 0-3 start.
BRONCOS: Quarterback Brian Griese practiced with the first team in preparation for returning to the lineup Saturday against San Francisco. Griese has missed the past five games since separating his throwing shoulder against Oakland on Nov. 13. "Brian looked pretty good," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He should be ready to go if he's feeling all right (today)."
FALCONS: Chris Chandler will start at quarterback in Sunday's season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. Chandler was benched in favor of rookie Doug Johnson, a former Gator, after a Nov. 26 loss to Oakland. The Falcons stumbled to a six-game losing streak. Chandler replaced Johnson in the second half of last week's 23-7 loss to the Saints.
JAGUARS: Rookie receiver R. Jay Soward was placed on the reserve list for non-football-related illness. The Jaguars did not disclose the nature of the illness. They said their top draft pick this year left the team after practicing Tuesday.
"We're trying to help solve a problem," coach Tom Coughlin said. "That's as far as I can go."
RAIDERS: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski will be tried in April in Tallahassee on a felony charge that could jeopardize his stay in America.
Janikowski, a native of Poland, was arrested and charged with possession of GHB, the so-called date rape drug, in June. A felony conviction could prompt the Immigration and Naturalization Service to begin deportation hearings.
Assistant state attorney Robin Freeman said a plea offer was made, but Janikowski's attorney, Steve Dobson, rejected it and opted for a trial that will begin April 9, 10 or 11.
REDSKINS: Quarterback Brad Johnson will start Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals in place of injured Jeff George (strained back). SAINTS: Running back Ricky Williams was cleared to return to practice, but he won't practice this week or play Sunday. Williams broke his left ankle in a Nov. 12 win over the Carolina Panthers.
SEAHAWKS: Quarterback Brock Huard was ruled out of Saturday's game with Buffalo because of a bruised kidney.
STEELERS: Teammates chose running back Jerome Bettis most valuable player for the third time in as many years.
VIKINGS: The cast on quarterback Daunte Culpepper's right ankle was removed and replaced by a walking boot. Culpepper said he was optimistic about playing Sunday at Indianapolis. Coach Dennis Green said the Vikings won't "know anything for sure" until Friday. ... The team signed defensive end Fernando Smith to shore up its run defense.
CARRUTH TRIAL: The man who admitted shooting Rae Carruth's pregnant girlfriend testified in Charlotte, N.C., that the former Carolina Panther planned the slaying for six months. Defense lawyers called Van Brett Watkins apparently hoping he would confirm a jailhouse statement that he shot Cherica Adams because he was angry at Carruth.
Watkins pleaded guilty to the November 1999 drive-by shooting of Adams, who was eight months pregnant with Carruth's child. The baby survived; Adams died a month later.
- Staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.
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