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Florida State Seminoles dismiss receiver Preston Parker from football team after latest drug-related arrest

Wide receiver Preston Parker's mercurial career at Florida State is over.

Coach Bobby Bowden announced Monday afternoon that one of his top playmakers and projected leaders for the 2009 season had been dismissed "due to his latest violation of team policy."

The rising senior was arrested and charged with DUI when he was found asleep at the wheel of his idling car in a Tallahassee McDonald's drive-through early Saturday. A urine sample was a "presumptive positive" for marijuana, and he told police he had smoked marijuana, according to the incident report.

Neither Parker nor his family could be reached for comment.

Parker, 21, has been arrested three times since late 2006, including for shoplifting at a Best Buy (he entered a pre-trial diversion program for first-time offenders and the charge was dismissed). The two most recent are drug-related.

Palm Beach Gardens police arrested him in April for possession of 4.81 grams of marijuana (a misdemeanor) and for carrying a concealed handgun in his car (a felony). The latter charge was reduced to carrying a concealed weapon (a misdemeanor) in a plea deal, and he was placed on 12 months probation for the marijuana possession. According to Florida Department of Corrections records, that isn't set to be terminated until May 18, so he could face a misdemeanor charge for a probation violation.

His attorney did not return calls from the St. Petersburg Times.

FSU imposed penalties beyond the court-imposed ones in that case just for him to be able to return to the team, including additional community service, biweekly drug testing and a two-game suspension. He issued a mea culpa in May, writing in part that the situation "made me realize how your life could be easily ruined over nonsense and a lack of focus. … I don't know what the future holds, but I promise whatever it is, I will make my teammates, coaches, fans, family and above all, my son proud of me on and off the field."

This past season, he led FSU with 40 catches for 372 yards (second to senior Greg Carr) and two touchdowns, not the kind of production he had as a sophomore and far from the numbers he hoped to parlay into a shot at the NFL this spring.

Parker, who remains enrolled at FSU, could look to transfer to a Division I-A school, sit out a year and play one final season in 2010 or explore the possibility of entering the NFL via a supplemental draft.

Without him, FSU must replace its two most productive receivers as well as promising transfer Corey Surrency, who may not be granted an extra year of eligibility.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.

Florida State Seminoles dismiss receiver Preston Parker from football team after latest drug-related arrest 02/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 2, 2009 9:41pm]

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