Ex-Southern star Tyson arrested Injured Razorback faces drug charges


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Craig Tyson, a scholarship basketball player at the University of Arkansas, was arrested here over the weekend and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both are felonies.

Tyson, a 6-foot-4 junior forward from Baltimore's Southern High, hasn't played for the Razorbacks because of a series of knee injuries. He transferred to Arkansas this year from Southern Idaho Junior College.

Tyson, 23, was arrested at his Fayetteville apartment Sunday night as part of a joint operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force and Fayetteville Police Department.

In a search by warrant of his apartment, police seized $3,000 worth of cash and paraphernalia used in the production of crack cocaine.

An additional warrant was issued for a Fayetteville hotel room in connection with the Tyson arrest and police discovered two ounces of powder cocaine and one-quarter ounce of crack cocaine.

The Tyson arrest was the result of an undercover sale, said Washington County Prosecutor Terry Jones.

Also arrested were Wilford Jones, 24, of Little Rock; Sondra Cooper, 23, of Fayetteville; and Ami Schubert, 21, of Fayetteville.

If charges are pressed, the four could face a five- to 20-year prison sentence and/or a $15,000 fine.

Tyson was released after posting a $5,000 bond, which requires a $500 payment.

Tyson, The Baltimore Sun Boys Player of the Year in 1989 at Southern, could not be reached for comment.

Jones said it probably will be 10 days to two weeks before Tyson's arraignment is held and it is decided if charges will be pressed.

Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said he was saddened by Tyson's arrest.

"It's a big surprise," Richardson said. "It caught me totally off guard."

Richardson said he couldn't very well suspend Tyson considering that Tyson isn't playing.

"It's impossible for me to talk about suspending Tyson because he really hasn't been a part of our team all year with his knee [injuries]," Richardson said.

Richardson said he will wait and see what happens with Tyson's case before making a decision regarding his future with the Arkansas basketball program.

"When that day comes, I'll act accordingly," Richardson said.

Richardson said he doesn't believe Tyson's arrest will have an adverse affect on the 13th-ranked Hogs' performance.

"All of us are hurting inside [for Tyson]," Richardson said. "But he never has been a part of us winning basketball games."

Tyson, a junior college All-American who was expected to play a key role for Arkansas this season, suffered sprained ligaments in his left knee during a "Midnight Madness" practice on Nov. 1.

Tyson subsequently re-injured his knee twice in practice. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Jan. 4 and major reconstructive surgery on Jan. 29, which ended any hope he had of playing this season. He has one year of NCAA eligibility remaining.

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