It appears Natrez Patrick‘s off-field issues will linger on into the New Year.
Earlier this past week, a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge Patrick was facing was dropped by the Barrow County (Ga.) district attorney’s office. Because he was already on probation following an October arrest for marijuana possession, however, he was subject to a drug test in Athens-Clarke County.
And, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Patrick failed that drug test, which was administered just a few days after the Dec. 2 arrest in Barrow County. As a result, Patrick has a court hearing scheduled for Jan. 11 in which he can contest the results. “He has a right to deny the allegation and go forward with the hearing,” the Journal-Constitution quoted the Athens-Clarke County solicitor, C.R. Chisholm, as saying.
Patrick’s attorney seemed none too pleased that the report of a failed drug test is now public knowledge.
“I am certainly not going to confirm that Natrez took a probation test or failed a probation test,” Billy Healan said according to the AJC. “None of that should be public record regardless.”
Patrick served a four-game suspension stemming from the October arrest. In November of 2015, Patrick was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor marijuana possession and suspended for one game per university policy. A year later, Patrick and a teammate, Roquan Smith, were investigated by police for alleged pot use although no charges were ever filed.
Despite the fact that the charges in the December incident, which happened shortly after the Bulldogs won the SEC championship, were dropped, it’s unclear whether the linebacker will be available for Georgia’s playoff game against Oklahoma. Per university policy, three drug-related offenses are grounds for dismissal from the football team.
Patrick started seven of the nine games in which he played at inside linebacker this season. Even as he missed nearly one-third of the regular season, Patrick is still sixth on the Bulldogs in tackles with 35.