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May 21, 2006

Tide LB Simpson arrested

BIRMINGHAM -- University of Alabama starting linebacker Juwan Simpson was arrested Saturday by Jefferson County sheriff's deputies for possession of marijuana, carrying a pistol without a license and a 2nd-degree charge of receiving stolen property.

According to Randy Christian of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Simpson was arrested Saturday night by the office's Violent Crimes Task Force after a task force officer conducted a traffic stop in which Simpson was the driver.

Christian said Simpson's vehicle was stopped on I-59 near Bessemer heading toward Tuscaloosa. During a search of the vehicle a drug sniffing dog indicated drugs were present and a vehicle search revealed a small bag of what is believed marijuana, and a pistol that had been reported stolen in Decatur.

A passenger in the vehicle was not charged. According to Chrsitian, the passenger -- who was not named -- has "no ties to University of Alabama athletics."

Simpson, 21, was booked at the Bessemer Jail and later released on $7,000 bond.

Simpson, a senior, has started at linebacker for two years. He was a 2005 Academic All-Southeastern Conference selection who earned his undergraduate degree in financial planning in December.

The Decatur native is pursuing a second degree in criminal justice, according to UA media relations.

At the end of spring practice April 1, Crimson Tide coaches presented Simpson with the Derrick Thomas Community Award, named after the late ex-Alabama linebacker who was actively involved in charitable works.

After starting every game for the Crimson Tide last fall, Simpson is one of four returning starters on defense for the 2006 team.

Head coach Mike Shula could not be reached for comment.

In recent arrests involving Alabama players, Shula's punishment has included a suspension. Quarterback John Parker Wilson missed a game and worked with the scout team after his DUI arrest Oct. 16. Safety Marcus Carter missed the 2005 season opener against Middle Tennessee after his May 28 arrest for underage possession of alcohol.



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