Off-field issues continue to plague BYU football, although this one, unlike the other most recent one, involves a player currently on the roster.
According to the Deseret News, Ula Tolutau was cited earlier this month for possession or use of a controlled substance. The citation is a misdemeanor offense, with the Logan Daily Herald reporting that the substance involved was marijuana.
The Salt Lake Tribune, meanwhile, details what led up to the running back being issued the citation:
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said a deputy stopped a vehicle carrying four adults just after midnight on Oct. 8 for speeding and a tail-light violation. The deputy smelled alcohol and marijuana in the car and issued a field sobriety test to the driver, who was deemed not to be impaired.
Tolutau was a passenger and was found holding a frisbee containing marijuana. He told the deputy that the pot was in a frisbee because he didn’t have a baggie. He was cited at the scene and released. No other citations were given.
“It was a relatively normal interaction,” Cannon said, noting the occupants were cooperative but initially denied the possession of a controlled substance.
The News writes that “[a] BYU official said the school is aware of the situation and would not say when coaches learned of it.” What the true freshman’s status will be moving forward remains to be seen.
Tolutau currently leads the Cougars with 303 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. Originally a Wisconsin signee, the 6-1, 250-pound back transferred to BYU after completing a two-year church mission.
This past Saturday morning, linebacker Francis Bernard was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a valid license and failing to register his vehicle/having an expired registration. With him during the traffic stop was senior defensive back Marvin Hifo, who was cited for having an open container.
It was subsequently revealed by head coach Kalani Sitake that both players had previously left the team in the last couple of weeks prior to the off-field incident — Bernard withdrew from school and requested a release from his scholarship, while Hifo, a senior defensive back, decided to simply quit.