Penn State Investigations: How Crawford, Drake and Smith Could Be Affected

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIMarch 26, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Defensive end Jack Crawford #81 of the Penn State Nittany Lions pursues wide receiver James Nixon #23 of the Temple Owls during a game on September 19, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Before we start on this, no one was formally arrested after police raided the apartment of former Penn State defensive end Jack Crawford and senior wide receiver Devon Smith and found some drug paraphernalia, but it isn't looking good.

According to a State report:

Around 4 p.m. on March 14, a Residence Life coordinator called Penn State Police to 1102 Nittany Apartments -- the residence of Crawford and Smith, according to the search warrant -- after noticing a damaged window screen on the second floor. Police could not find anyone at home, but entered the residence concerned a burglary might be taking place, Penn State Police Chief Tyrone Parham said.

No burglary was reported, but when police saw drugs in plain sight, a search warrant was obtained, Parham said.

According to the search warrant, police found a grinder still with marijuana in the bottom, ashtrays filled with blunts in the common area and a scale on one of the nightstands in the bedrooms.

Police seized the blunts, stems and other paraphernalia, among other items that included a can of Hurricane malt liquor, a prescription bottle belonging to Curtis Drake that police found under the futon, and a blue towel with buds in a dresser drawer, according to the search warrant.

The players were not charged, but there's still going to be an investigation.

The guys will probably go with the "it's not ours and we have no idea how the drugs got there, because we let friends stay at the apartment over Spring Break" line and get out of it.

But they might not—and here's what we think will happen:

  • For Devon Smith, it seems obvious that he'll get kicked off the team, losing Penn State a much-needed wide receiver to try and haul in [add quarterback's name here]'s high and aimless balls. 
  • Curtis Drake could quite easily go with the "I gave them the pills because one of them said they were in absolute agony, so I wanted to help a teammate out." Drake may well survive this, but expect Penn State's new cornerback (which—if he stays there—gives PSU a good cornerback threat that they haven't had for years) to miss two to four games.
  • And for Jack Crawford? If he's not charged, the NFL scouts will suddenly look down on this sort. It'll be damaging to his reputation with the NFL teams that questioned him during the Combine (see my article for Sky Sports here). It could even see him drop down places into the sixth round (he's projected fifth, but personally, we see him in the 2-5 range (yes, we know that's quite a range). If Crawford is charged, this could be a lot, lot worse for him. Crawford is still on a student visa, which could mean that the authorities rescind that visa, meaning that he can't come back into the country to play in the NFL. He'll suddenly have nothing but London to go back to. It's frightening thinking.

And after all that's happened at State College in the last year, we have one question: What in the heck were they playing at?

We can only hope this goes away. But in the case of drug charges and college athletes, it doesn't seem so.