Dallas Cowboys’ second year running back is currently in the appeal process for his six-game suspension stemming from domestic abuse allegations from an ex-girlfriend. During a testimony under oath, Elliott admitted to drug use during his time at Ohio State.
On August 11th, the NFL decided to suspend Elliott for six-games of the 2017 season. They determined he used physical force against his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson, last summer in Ohio. Although prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio decided against pursuing a case against the star running back, the NFL decided to keep the investigation open. The league found Elliott guilty based on photographs, text messages, and other electronic evidence.
Elliott has since appealed the NFL’s decision and has testified under oath that he did not touch Thompson. During the three-day hearing, Elliott was asked a number of questions under oath, including whether or not he did drugs or drank in college. Elliott confirmed both.
Per an excerpt from the court transcript:
Attorney: “And I think you said you liked her because she liked to party, drink and do drugs?”
Attorney: “You liked to do that, too?”
Elliott: “I do like to party.”
Attorney: “And like to get drunk?”
Attorney: “You like to do drugs?”
Elliott: “I did in college.”
The court didn’t ask any follow-up questions about Elliott’s drug use in college. However, Thomson told NFL investigators “that Elliott was using cocaine and marijuana two months before the Cowboys drafted him fourth overall.” It’s also worth noting that Elliott never failed a drug test during his time at Ohio State.
Final Hit: Ezekiel Elliott Admits to Drug Use In College
Despite Elliott’s admittance to drug use in college, this remains far from an open and shut case. In addition to Elliott’s appeal, the NFL player’s union has since sued the league on behalf of Elliott in what they consider an “unfair process”.
The lawsuit accuses the NFL of a “fundamentally unfair” appeal process, as arbitrator Harold Henderson has denied the request for Tiffany Thompson to testify at the hearing. Additionally, the union has claimed the NFL has withheld information that could be seen as beneficial to Elliott’s appeal. The lawsuit claims the league has withheld information from co-lead investigator Kia Roberts. Roberts determined in her findings that the accuser was “not credible”.
It remains to be seen how Elliott’s admittance to drug-use will affect his case. The council didn’t seem overly concerned about what drugs Elliott was taking exactly, and the running back hasn’t failed a drug test in either college or his lone season in the NFL. While cocaine and weed are both considered Schedule 1 drugs, it’s still unclear whether or not those were the drugs Elliott was using.
Unsurprisingly, it’s far from uncommon for college players to smoke weed. Most recently, two Florida players were discovered smoking weed in an on-campus apartment. Although it’s still considered illegal, there appears to a certain leeway given to young players making a mistake. While this is certainly not making an excuse for Elliott, it is simply stating how the arbitrator may factor in possible drug use in this situation.
Arbitrator Harold Henderson is expected to make a decision in the upcoming days.