UK’s Hatcher arrested, dismissed from team – The Courier-Journal

11 months ago Comments Off on UK’s Hatcher arrested, dismissed from team – The Courier-Journal

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky football rising senior linebacker Jason Hatcher, a Trinity High School alum, was arrested in Franklin County early Monday morning and has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.

Hatcher was charged with speeding (11 mph over limit), trafficking in marijuana (eight ounces to less than five pounds), tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. The trafficking and tampering charges are Class D felonies. UK announced his dismissal in a news released just before noon Monday.

A UK spokeswoman said the school will have no additional comment on the dismissal.

When Hatcher was pulled over for speeding Monday morning after being clocked at 81 mph in an 70 mph zone on Interstate-64, the officer reported smelling marijuana in the car, according to Franklin Country Sheriff Pat Melton. As the officer prepared to search the car, he spotted Hatcher using his cell phone light to look through his own vehicle. The officer then found one quarter of a pound of marijuana stuffed down Hatcher’s pants and another three-quarters of a pound of marijuana in the passenger floor board in a vacuum-sealed bag, Melton said.

The arrest comes after Hatcher was suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season for an undisclosed violation of team rules. In May 2014, Hatcher and Louisville wide receiver James Quick were cited for possession of marijuana in Quick’s apartment on the U of L campus. That charge was later dismissed in Jefferson District Court after Hatcher completed a marijuana education course.

Hatcher totaled 39 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in nine games for Kentucky in 2014. He was one of the first significant recruiting wins of the Mark Stoops era at UK, picking the Wildcats over Louisville, Southern California and others as a four-star prospect in 2013.

In a postseason interview, Stoops said Hatcher had started to make strides off the field and he saw him making the steps toward being a difference maker for the team.

“I do,” Stoops said. “If he continues to just stay on the course that I saw from him in particular since this last suspension as you move forward through this year, I saw some growth in him as a person and on the field. … I would love to see him just have a big senior year on the field and off. He’s doing the right things, and I expect him to stay that way.”

Hatcher’s dismissal further depletes a UK defense that struggled to find success rushing the passer last season. Kentucky ranked 109th nationally in sacks (17) and 122nd nationally in tackles for loss (53) in 2015. While Hatcher missed time due to injury and the suspension, he still tied for second on the team in sacks.

With Hatcher gone, no returning UK player totaled more than one sack in 2015.

Email Jon Hale at jahale@courier-journal.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonHale_CJ.


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UK’s Hatcher arrested, dismissed from team – The Courier-Journal

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