FRISCO — Texas freshman tight end Reese Leitao will be suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession charge in May.
Coach Tom Herman announced the suspension at the conclusion of his appearance at Big 12 media days on Tuesday.
“We’ve got some internal guidelines that he has to follow, and he’s done all of that,” Herman said of the 6-4 athlete from Jenks, Okla. “Once he’s served his two-game suspension, hopefully he’ll be physically and mentally ready to help us a little bit.”
It was unclear whether Texas officials would allow Leitao to keep his scholarship after being arrested for drug possession on Feb. 28. He was initially charged with a felony for selling Xanax on school grounds. The charge was pled down to a misdemeanor.
In May, UT men’s athletic director Mike Perrin issued a statement that Leitao would be allowed to join the team. “He committed to me that he will take this negative action and turn it into a positive outcome,” Perrin said.
Herman said Leitao’s parents traveled to Austin to meet with Perrin and discuss the situation.
“We feel confident that Reese has taken the necessary steps to make sure this becomes a blip on the radar screen of his life and not something that defines him,” Herman said.
“I also learned what real remorse looks like from an 18-year-old kid,” the coach added. “You want to talk about a kid who realized the gravity of his mistake. Let’s hope it’s a very costly but very impactful learning experience for him.”
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