Patriots running back Kevin Faulk, who was cited for marijuana possession in February while attending a concert in his home state of Louisiana, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of simple marijuana possession yesterday in a Lafayette court, according to television station KATC, which first reported the news on its website.
Faulk will have a five-month jail term suspended and be on probation for a year. He will have to pay a $300 fine, a $250 drug test fee, and court costs. He also will have to perform 40 hours of community service in Lafayette Parish, speaking to students about drugs, according to KATC.
According to the station, Faulk, 32, also will have to complete 20 hours in a substance abuse program, which he will do through the NFL.
The league does not announce when a player has entered its substance abuse program or detail what step he is at, with step three the most severe. Any player at that level who fails to comply with the program is suspended for at least a year. To reach that level, a player must fail at least three drug tests. First-time offenders are not subject to suspension but can be fined.
Faulk, who has played all nine of his NFL seasons with the Patriots, was issued a citation after he was found with four hand-rolled cigars filled with marijuana while attending a concert by the rapper Lil Wayne at the Cajundome in Lafayette Feb. 22.
Following the incident, Faulk told a Louisiana newspaper he had submitted to a drug test and it had come back negative. He told the paper he would not have to enter the NFL's substance abuse program.
Neither a call nor an e-mail to Faulk's agent, Raymond Brothers, seeking clarification was returned.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James could not be reached for comment.
Another member of the team's media relations department said he was not authorized to speak for the organization.
Former Patriots defensive back Willie Andrews, who was released July 1 after he was arrested for allegedly waving a handgun at his girlfriend, was arrested for possession of approximately a half-pound of marijuana in Lowell Feb. 5.
He was charged with possession with intent to distribute but pleaded to possession, was placed on probation, and had his case continued without a finding to May 9.
Faulk was named a team captain prior to the 2007 season.
The Patriots' all-time leader in receptions by a running back with 323, he is the team's top option out of the backfield in passing situations and in third-down sets.
He had 47 catches for 383 yards and a touchdown last season and added 62 rushes for 265 yards.
Christopher L. Gasper can be reached at email@example.com.