Virginia Tech guard Ty Outlaw will play on Friday against Duke in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament after being charged with possession of marijuana, head coach Buzz Williams announced in a statement on Thursday.
"The disturbance that lead to the search occurred while Ty and our team were still in California last week," Williams said. "While Ty and our team were still in California, the authorities executed the search. Upon our return to Blacksburg on Monday evening, Ty became aware of the situation and was fully cooperative and transparent with local authorities and me."
"After discussion with our Director of Athletics Whit Babcock and our athletics administration in accordance with our policies and procedures, we are following our departmental protocol involving misdemeanors," he added. "We will continue to let the process play out and that's all I can say at this time. If information changes we will respond appropriately according to our policies."
Williams also said that the athletic department decided to have an outside agency perform a drug test on Outlaw this week, which came back negative.
Outlaw was charged with possesssion of marijuana on March 21, one day after he arrived in San Jose, Calif., for the Hokies' first-round game against Saint Louis in the NCAA tournament. His hearing is scheduled for April 11, according to the Associated Press.
On March 20, a Blacksburg police officer arrived at Outlaw's apartment at 6:07 p.m. in reference to a narcotics violation and smelled a "strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the redsidence," reports The Roanoke Times.
The officer, H.A. Rose, attempted to make contact with the apartment's residents but could not reach anyone. Rose obtained a search warrant on March 21 and police "seized one white pill, two yellow capsules, an electronic vape cartridge and green plant material from the apartment" the same day. Blacksburg police issued a summons for Outlaw on Monday and delivered it on Tuesday, the same day Outlaw and the Hokies returned to Virginia, per the Times.
Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney Mary Pettitt told the Associated Press that a person does not need to be "present with the drugs" to be charged with possession of them.
Outlaw started in both of Virginia Tech's NCAA tournament games. The junior scored seven points with seven rebounds in the Hokies' first-round 66–52 victory over Saint Louis on March 22. He put up 10 points with 11 rebounds in Virginia Tech's secound-round 67–58 win over Liberty on March 24.
Virginia Tech and Duke will face off on Friday, March 29 in Washington, D.C. Tip off is slated for 9:39 p.m. ET.