Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Indiana's Damarlo Belcher failed drug test
By Brian Bennett
Now we know why Damarlo Belcher got booted off Indiana's football team in the middle of the season last year: He failed a drug test.
The former Hoosiers receiver divulged that to reporters during the team's pro day on Monday. IU dismissed him Oct. 31 for what was called a violation of team rules. The NFL scouts in attendance wanted to know how Belcher could lead the Big Ten in catches as a junior and become persona non grata his senior season, so he figured he might as well make it public.
"I had to come clean with that," Belcher told the media. "I tried to keep it low key. They had to know sooner or later. I just tried to keep it a secret all the way until then.”
Belcher said he told pro scouts that he got caught up hanging around the wrong people and that he wouldn't make the same mistake again. But his admission will undoubtedly make some teams wary of drafting him.
He considered leaving for the NFL after his junior year, when he recorded 78 receptions for 832 yards and four touchdowns. Expectations were high for him last year in Kevin Wilson's pass-happy offense, but Belcher managed only 25 catches for 286 yards and one score before he was dismissed.
Wilson has continued to let Belcher use Indiana's facilities and allowed him to go through pro day with the other Hoosiers seniors on Monday. That's a classy move by a coach who could have easily cut ties with a player he didn't have a lot of history with.
Good for Belcher for admitting what he did wrong. Better for him if he learns from the misstep and grows from it.