Former Northwestern standout Joseph charged with marijuana possession

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati cornerback and former Northwester High standoutJohnathan Joseph was arrested early today and charged with possession ofmarijuana, the ninth Bengals player arrested in the last nine months.

Joseph earned all-state honors and played in the Shrine Bowl during his time at Northwestern. He played twoseasons at South Carolina, after transferring to the school from CoffeyvilleJunior College in Kansas.

Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan, speaking with the CincinnatiEnquirer, repeated the organization’s policy of not commenting on ongoinglegal issues involving a player.

“We don’t comment on these cases when they are still at the point ofcharges,” Brennan said. “We don’t think that would be appropriate.”The arrest came three weeks after coach Marvin Lewis promised to get tougheron player misconduct, hoping to stop a series of arrests that hasembarrassed the team and drawn the attention of NFL commissioner RogerGoodell.

Joseph was arrested on U.S. Route 42 in northern Kentucky. He lives nearbyin Union, Ky. The Boone Country sheriff’s office arrest report said Josephwas the passenger in a vehicle driven by a woman who had a suspendedlicense, was driving slowly and weaving.

When a Boone County sheriff’s deputy asked Joseph to get out of the vehicle,he smelled marijuana. The deputy searched Joseph’s black backpack with aSuper Bowl logo and found a bag of marijuana in a pouch, the arrest reportsaid.

Joseph was released Monday morning, and his first court appearance isscheduled for Feb. 5. Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor that carries amaximum of one year in jail and a maximum $500 fine.Joseph left the Gamecocks after his junior season.He was the Bengals first-round draft pick last season and had positionedhimself to take over a starting job next season.Joseph is the fifth player drafted by the Bengals in 2005 and 2006 to bearrested. The others are linebacker Odell Thurma, wide receiver Chris Henry,defensive end Frostee Rucker and wide receiver Reggie McNeal.