PULLMAN – Washington State University starting power forward DeAngelo Casto will not play in tonight’s National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal game versus Northwestern University.
WSU coach Ken Bone announced Tuesday afternoon Casto had been suspended for a violation of team rules, although that violation was not specified.
A source with knowledge of the situation said Casto’s off-campus apartment was searched by police at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday and a small amount of marijuana was allegedly found.
The Cougars had defeated Oklahoma State, 74-64, a few hours earlier to move into the NIT’s third round.
Cmdr. Chris Tennant, Pullman Police Department spokesman, said Tuesday he could not speak about an ongoing police investigation and would not say whether Casto is the subject of an investigation.
Another source not authorized to speak publicly said a citation could be issued as early as this morning.
WSU coach Ken Bone said in a statement released by the school, “I am disappointed in DeAngelo as he let himself and his teammates down.” Neither Bone nor Casto were available for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier this season sophomore point guard Reggie Moore was cited for two misdemeanor charges – possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia – after a search of his then-dorm room.
Then two weeks ago, scoring leader Klay Thompson was pulled over while driving home and cited for possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams, following a win over USC.
Both players were suspended for a game.
“It is important that our student-athletes realize that they are held to a high standard and that lack of good judgment can be costly,” athletic director Bill Moos said in the same news release, “especially in the postseason when so much is at stake.”
Casto leads the Cougars (21-12) in rebounding at 6.8 a game and is third in scoring, averaging 12.1 points. At 6-foot-8 and 255 pounds, the junior is WSU’s main force around the basket.
The Ferris graduate played on two undefeated state championship teams in high school.
UPDATE: In a completion of an agreement made at the time of the search, Casto met with the Pullman police late Tuesday night and was cited for possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams.
Casto would have received the citation at the time of search, according to Tennant, but the officer did not have any tickets with him.
“It really came down to a bookkeeping issue as opposed to preferential treatment or anything like that,” Tennant said.
Casto and the officer made an agreement for Casto to come in the next evening and that’s what happened, Tennant said.
Possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams, is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of no more than 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, though most cases result in the minimum sentence of 1 day in jail and a $250 fine.