Former Oregon TE Colt Lyerla arrested

EUGENE, Ore. — Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla, who left the second-ranked Ducks earlier this month following a one-game suspension for violating team rules, was in custody Thursday after his arrest on drug-related charges in Eugene.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement that Lyerla was observed by a drug investigation unit snorting a white powdery substance while sitting in a parked car Wednesday. The 20-year-old Lyerla was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of cocaine and interfering with a police officer.

When he decided to leave the Ducks, Lyerla said it was to pursue an NFL career. He had been suspended for Oregon’s Oct. 5 game at Colorado by coach Mark Helfrich for an unspecified violation of team rules.

At the time, Lyerla told Oregon’s athletics website, GoDucks.com, that his withdrawal from school had nothing to do with that suspension.

“I love everyone at Oregon; everyone’s on good terms, I believe,” Lyerla said. “Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on.”

Along with missing Oregon’s 57-16 victory over the Buffaloes, he also sat out Oregon’s 59-14 win over Tennessee earlier this season because of illness. Oregon does not disclose injuries, so after the game Helfrich described his absence as “circumstances.”

Lyerla then complained to The Oregonian newspaper that he felt the description could be unfairly interpreted. He later apologized for airing his frustration publicly and said he never meant to be a distraction. Both he and Helfrich said they’d discussed the matter and moved on.

The former star from Hillsboro High School, west of Portland, caught three passes for 26 yards as a junior for the Ducks this season. For his career, he had 34 receptions for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“If he felt this was best for him, that’s OK. We talked about it and we moved on,” Helfrich said a day after Lyerla left the program. “We wished him absolutely nothing but the best, and he wished us nothing but the best. There was no `smoking gun,’ so to speak.”

Lyerla also landed in the doghouse this summer after he tweeted support of conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of his posts concerned the parents of the young victims.

The school issued a strongly worded statement condemning the post.

“Twitter posts attributed to student-athlete Colt Lyerla concerning the tragedy at Sandy Hook are insensitive and offensive, especially those devastated by the shootings, and we have communicated as much to Colt,” the statement said.

He also missed the first several days of fall camp his sophomore year for personal reasons.

After his arrest Wednesday, Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff wrote on Twitter: “God be with my former teammate!!!”

The Lane County Sheriff’s office release said detectives were working on an unrelated case when they observed Lyerla.

“Lyerla was contacted by police and admitted to using and possessing cocaine,” said the release, prepared by Sgt. Steve French.

Detectives arranged to meet Lyerla at his residence to continue the investigation, but once there he ran from his car into a nearby apartment, the release said. He was arrested when he emerged a short time later.

Lyerla was being held in the Lane County Jail on Thursday.

More in Sports

WSU defensive lineman voted a first-team All-American

Washington’s Pettis and WSU’s O’Connell make the second team; UW’s Vea earns a spot on the third team

An ugly ending as Seahawks lose to Jaguars, 30-24

The other bad news: The Jacksonville Jaguars intercepted Russell Wilson three times.

It’s official: NL MVP Stanton now slugging for the Yankees

The Yankees announce they have acquired the slugger from the Marlins in a four-player deal

All Cs and Ds: Grading the Seahawks in loss to Jaguars

Seattle’s defensive unit earns one of its lowest marks of the season.

Seahawks gave the Jaguars a scare in the fourth quarter

Down 27-10, Seattle rallied with a pair of long touchdown passes.

Silvertips run their winning streak to nine straight

Bryce Kindopp scores the winning goal with 18 remaining in a 4-3 victory over Tri-City

Williams leads No. 12 Gonzaga to 97-70 rout of Washington

The contest was the first game in Seattle between the in-state foes since 2005

Seahawks Notebook: Eddie Lacy inactive for game with Jaguars

The decision not to use the veteran running back saved the Seahawks $62,500

Washington State dismisses top receiver Tavares Martin Jr.

He lead the Cougars with 70 catches and nine touchdowns in the regular season

Most Read