WENATCHEE — University of Washington football star Kasen T. Williams pleaded guilty Monday to committing an alcohol-related traffic offense in Chelan over Memorial Day weekend.
A Washington State Patrol sergeant stopped the 20-year-old Huskies receiver for speeding on Highway 97A May 26, and Williams admitted to drinking and using marijuana earlier that day. A Breathalyzer test showed his blood alcohol content at 0.059 percent, and a marijuana pipe was found in the car Williams shared with a male passenger, police said.
Williams, a UW junior from Seattle, admitted to the charges in Chelan County District Court on Monday, with Judge Roy S. Fore deferring his sentence for two years. He paid $695 in court costs and fines, but will face no penalties if he receives drug and alcohol counseling within 90 days and avoids similar traffic or drug-related offenses until June 2015.
UW Athletics spokesman Jeff Bechthold said Tuesday that football coach Steve Sarkisian knew of Williams’s case prior to his plea, and any team disciplinary measures would be kept confidential. He said no further comment would be forthcoming.
That leaves questions about Williams’s status with the Huskies, scheduled to open their season in an Aug. 31 home game against Boise State. The UW Student-Athlete Handbook prohibits players from any unlawful use of alcohol or non-medicinal marijuana.
The athletics department “reserves the right to withhold a student-athlete from practice and competition” until he or she completes a course of drug abuse education or treatment.
The state patrol report said Williams was traveling 15 mph over the 30 mph limit when pulled over in the 2200 block of West Woodin Avenue, and pulled into the lot of the hotel where he was staying. The sergeant detected the odor of both marijuana and alcohol from the vehicle. In a police interview, Williams admitted to smoking “a bowl 5 hours ago,” and said “last I had a beer before my nap” at about 7 p.m. at “a friend’s house.”
His passenger was not arrested or cited.
Williams chose UW in 2011 after turning down attractive recruitment offers from UCLA and Boise State University, among others. Last year he made 77 catches, the third-best season record in UW history. His father, Aaron Williams, is also a former UW receiver.
As a receiver for Skyline High School in Sammamish, Williams notched 56 touchdowns — 20 of them in 2009 alone, including three in the state title game — and finished his prep career with 4,121 receiving yards and 235 catches. He was named Parade magazine’s Player of the Year in 2011, and was also a star track and field athlete in the long jump and high jump.
Williams has been fined a total of $525 for four speeding tickets in the last three years, including one in Chelan County in 2010.
Jefferson Robbins: 664-7123