New Version of Wilson Drug Episode Told

From Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche collected evidence of Bengals fullback Stanley Wilson’s apparent cocaine use from the Florida hotel room where Wilson was found on the eve of Super Bowl XXIII, a Cincinnati newspaper reported today.

And Cincinnati Police Chief Lawrence Whalen, who was with the Bengals in Florida to coordinate the team’s security arrangements, found Wilson in an apparently drug-induced condition in his Plantation, Fla., Holiday Inn room and, with two other men, took him back to the Bengals’ headquarters hotel in Miami, the Omni Hotel, the Cincinnati Post reported today. The newspaper quoted David Katz, owner of the Holiday Inn in Plantation.

Wilson, 27, originally from Carson, played at Oklahoma University and was drafted by the Bengals in 1983.

Katz’s description of the events on the evening of Jan. 21 differs from accounts provided by Whalen, Wyche and the Bengals. Team officials have said Wilson escaped from Whalen and team officials and fled his room at the Holiday Inn. Wilson was not heard from until Jan. 24, when he called Bengals officials to tell them he was with his parents in Miami and was leaving for an undisclosed location.


Whalen and Wyche did not return repeated calls today.

The National Football League has also refused to comment on the incident that led to Wilson’s suspension from the Super Bowl game, which the Bengals lost, 20-16, to the San Francisco 49ers in Miami.

The circumstances surrounding the discovery of Wilson’s alleged use of drugs in his room at the Plantation--where the Bengals moved on the eve of the Super Bowl--have raised questions about Whalen’s role as coordinator of team security. Whalen had permission to take on the assignment from city officials and did so on his own time.

Cincinnati City Manager Scott Johnson said he is reviewing Whalen’s role in the Wilson incident and whether his service as the Bengals’ security director in Miami posed a conflict of interest.

Bengals Assistant General Manager Mike Brown said that team officials found evidence in Wilson’s room that he had used crack, a form of cocaine. The NFL banned Wilson from the Super Bowl and had suspended him for the 1985 and 1987 seasons because of cocaine use.