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Thursday, March 6, 2008
Cleveland, Nelson kicked off team in separate drug cases

Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa receiver James Cleveland and backup quarterback Arvell Nelson have been dismissed from the team, coach Kirk Ferentz said Thursday.

Both were arrested on drug charges last month and had been suspended indefinitely.

Cleveland, Iowa's second-leading receiver last season, was arrested in his dorm room on Feb. 23 by campus police after officers found 21 units of the prescription pain killer oxycodone and 24 doses of the muscle relaxant carisoprodol. He was charged with a tax stamp violation, a Class D felony, and two counts of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, both serious misdemeanors.

Cleveland, 19, has pleaded not guilty to those charges. A preliminary hearing is set for March 14.

Nelson, 19, was arrested on the same night on marijuana possession charges. He has yet to enter a plea.

"It's disappointing anytime one of our players doesn't complete his career with our team and go on to earn their degree from Iowa," Ferentz said. "That being said, we wish both James and Arvell success in the future."

Cleveland started 11 games and caught 36 passes as a freshman in 2007. Nelson saw limited duty behind starter Jake Christensen, but he was expected to push for more playing time in spring practice.