Clover football player charged with marijuana possession; 2 kicked off team

A Clover High School football player was charged with marijuana possession and he and another player were kicked off the team after coming to school this week under the influence of the drug, school and law enforcement officials said.

In addition, three other players were suspended from playing in Friday’s football game “for violation of school and team rules,” said school district spokesman Mychal Frost.

Tanner Michael Whitley, 17, of 6724 Little Branch Drive, York, was charged Tuesday with possession of marijuana, according to a York County Sheriff’s Department report. The other students involved were not named by the school.

Whitley was charged after school officials found about 1.5 grams of what appeared to be marijuana in the spare tire well of his car in the school parking lot, according to the report.

According the report, Whitley was questioned by school administrators after they received a tip that two students were under the influence of marijuana at school Tuesday.

Whitley first admitted to school officials that he had smoked marijuana Monday night, “but his appearance was off,” the report said.

He appeared to be sluggish and his eyes were bloodshot and his speech slow, according to the report.

Later, Whitley admitted to school administrators that he and the other player who was removed from the team had smoked marijuana before school started, the report said.

School officials found the marijuana during a search of Whitley’s vehicle.

The other student suspected of having smoked marijuana with Whitley before school was not charged.

Frost said the Blue Eagle football players were questioned about their involvement in a separate, off-campus incident Monday evening after practice.

“The players were honest when asked, which was the smart thing for them to do, and the process unfolded from there as to involving law enforcement to address the student who was arrested,” he said.

Frost added: “It was decided very quickly that the students who are no longer a part of the football program had previous chances to correct their actions in years past. Two students made a poor decision and they are now paying the consequences by ending their high school athletic careers early.”

Clover High School Principal Mark Hopkins was attending a conference Friday and could not be reached for comment.

Clover athletic director Carroll Hester said the school’s coaching staff talks to athletes “continuously about making good choices and about making good decisions. We always want our athletes to do the right thing.”

Hester added: “Unfortunately, in this situation, we had some that made a bad decision and they and the team are now paying the consequences for their actions.”