COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Narcotics agents who conducted a drug raid at a suburban apartment say they were shocked to find 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers inside.
'I don't know who was more surprised, our deputies or George,' Richland County Sheriff Allen Sloan said. 'Mr. Rogers was actually snorting cocaine when deputies broke the door open. He actually had some cocaine in his right nostril. They were just able to keep him from wiping the dope away, and they were able to get some residue with a Q-tip.'
Sloan said marijuana and cocaine worth about $1,500 were seized along with drug paraphernalia in Saturday's raid.
Rogers, 31, admitted cocaine use during a drug scandal that cropped up in 1982 while he was with the New Orleans Saints. At the time, he entered a drug rehabilitation center and promised, 'It will never happen again.'
The former University of South Carolina star was charged Saturday with simple possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Free on $5,000 bond, he faces up to five years in prison if convicted on the cocaine charge.
'This was a result of a three-week investigation into somebody else's distribution of drugs,' Sloan said. 'Rogers was not even a target. We had no idea that he would even be in the apartment.'
Two other men, including former South Carolina football player Marcus Gilliam, were arrested on the same charges.
Rogers has worked since February as a fund-raiser for the university's College of Applied Professional Sciences. School officials were reviewing his employment in light of the arrest.
Rogers won the Heisman in 1980 and earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1981 with the Saints. During his career with New Orleans and the Washington Redskins, Rogers gained 7,176 rushing yards and scored 53 touchdowns. He finished his career with Washington in 1987.
The road that runs by the South Carolina football stadium is named in Rogers' honor, and a mural of him in uniform covers one side of a campus building.
The university has canceled the George Rogers Invitational Golf Tournament, a charity event that had been scheduled for April 25 at a local country club.