Two Tiger Football Players Arrested

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Clemson's traveling party to the Humanitarian Bowl will be minus two key starters after their arrest Tuesday afternoon on drug charges.

Left tackle Akil Smith, a 22-year old redshirt junior, and 24-year old senior tailback Travis Zachery were arrested at approximately on campus Tuesday at approximately 4:30 p.m., according to Lt. Chad Brooks, a narcotics agent with the Pickens County Sheriff's Department.

Smith was charged with three counts of sale of marijuana within proximity of a school, and faces 10 years in prison on each count. Zachery was charged with one count of distribution of marijuana, which can carry a sentence of up to five years.

The two remained in custody Tuesday night at the Pickens County Detention Center. Bail will be set at an arraignment Wednesday morning before Judge Jim King. The arraignment is set for approximately 9 a.m.

Brooks said the arrests were the result of an undercover investigation which began back in August involving SLED, the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, the Clemson City Police and the Clemson University Police.

Shortly after the arrests, Clemson head football coach Tommy Bowden announced in a statement that Smith and Zachery had been dismissed from the team. The pair also has been suspended from school pending an administrative hearing.

Both players were major contributors to the Clemson football team this season, helping the Tigers finish with a 6-5 record and gaining entry into the Dec. 31 Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

Smith was the starter at left tackle as a sophomore, but missed the 2000 season with a blood clot in his lung. He returned to the field this season and has been part of a three-tackle rotation for much of the year.

He caused a minor controversy last month when he publicly complained about Clemson's night life, calling the area surrounding the school "boring."

Zachery scored four touchdowns and had 115 rushing yards in last Saturday's 59-31 victory over Duke. The touchdowns gave him 50 for his career, one less than the all-time Atlantic Coast Conference record.

Zachery rushed for 1,027 yards as a junior, but saw his production drop off dramatically this season. He finished the year with just 496 yards on 128 carries (3.6 yards per carry).

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