EUGENE — Former University of Oregon football player Colt Lyerla wants a judge to let him move to Nevada to train for National Football League draft.
The 21-year-old tight end was arrested in October, shortly after he left the Ducks. He was released from a Eugene jail on the condition that he remains in Oregon while his cocaine possession case goes through the court system.
According to court documents filed Nov. 29, Lyerla wants to prepare for the draft with trainer Dwight Ross. A website for Performance Athletics, where Ross works, lists dozens of professional and amateur athletes as clients.
Attorney Stephen Houze said in court papers that Lyerla would live at Ross's home 25 miles outside Las Vegas, adhere to a 10 p.m. curfew and return to Oregon for court appearances.
Lyerla's "whereabouts will be accounted for by Mr. Ross and his staff at all times," Houze wrote, adding that it "will not be possible for (him) to advance his professional sports career plan without participation in this unique training program."
A hearing on Lyerla's request won't happen until Dec. 17 at the earliest, The Register-Guard newspaper reported (http:is.gd/26rbd6 ).
Detectives with Lane County's Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested Lyerla in Eugene on Oct. 23 — about two weeks after Lyerla announced he was leaving the team and planned to enter May's NFL draft. Police said Lyerla was seen snorting cocaine in a bank parking lot.
Lyerla, who has pleaded not guilty, was considered a potential first-round draft pick before the season, but the arrest and his decision to quit the team have clouded his prospects.
Following his arrest, Lyerla made three appearances in the county's Drug Court — an alternative program that gives offenders a chance to have their charges dismissed if they complete treatment for addiction.
His case moved to Circuit Court for a potential trial after changing attorneys and losing a request for more time to consider whether to participate in the program.
Lyerla has pleaded not guilty and has no previous convictions. The Register-Guard reports that trials in simple drug possession cases are uncommon in Lane County. Prosecutors hamstrung by budget cuts in the district attorney's office often decide against filing charges against alleged drug users who are not accused of committing any other crime.
Those who are charged typically enroll in Drug Court or settle their cases prior to trial.