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Drug arrests jolt Tabor College athletic department

Charges include possession, distribution, and weapon possession

News editor

A Tabor College graduate assistant football coach and student assistants for football and basketball face multiple drug-related charges after a Nov. 28 pre-dawn search of their off-campus residence.

A two-month investigation by Hillsboro police culminated in a 5 a.m. search of a rental house in the 400 block of W. B St. that uncovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a 9mm handgun.

Second-year graduate assistant football coach Torrey Gill, 24; football student assistant Joseph Donnell, 26; and basketball student assistant Cody May, 24, were jailed and later released on suspicion of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Donnell also is alleged to have distributed marijuana.

May faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a person who uses a controlled substance.

Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning said other occupants of the house are not under investigation.

“We don’t have any reason anyone else in the house was involved,” Kinning said.

The charges against Gill, Donnell, and May all relate to marijuana, Kinning said.

“We found no signs of anything else,” he said.

Gill, originally from Olive Branch, Mississippi, was an honorable mention all-conference wide receiver for Tabor in 2014 and 2015 after playing two seasons for Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi.

Tabor’s official Twitter account praised him, saying “Torrey Gill is the benchmark of class. He is a true one heartbeat player. #ClassAct #winner.”

In 2015, Gill raised $1,390 from 25 donors with a GoFundMe page to pay for participating in a post-season FCS Bowl game staged by a sports marketing and events management firm, in hope of impressing NFL scouts. Gill also was invited to an NFL regional combine in 2016.

The Wichita Force, an indoor football team playing in the Champions Indoor Football league, announced in November that it had signed Gill to its tryout roster for the upcoming season.

Gill graduated from Tabor with a bachelor’s degree in sports studies.

Donnell, a running back for the Bluejays in 2015 and 2016, earned all-conference honors as a fullback in 2015. Originally from Stockton, California, he transferred to Tabor from Cerritos Community College. He is completing his first year as a student assistant with the football team.

May, originally from Troy, Ohio, signed to play basketball for Tabor in 2016 after concluding two years at Edison State Community College, where he received all-league honors. He was on the Tabor dean’s list academically for the fall 2016 semester and was named a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball scholar-athlete. He is in his first season as a student assistant with the basketball team.

Tabor officials issued the following statement Tuesday about the status of Gill, Donnell, and May:

“Tabor College is aware of the situation and our disciplinary process is ongoing in accordance with our policy. Torrey Gill, a graduate assistant, and Cody May, a student assistant, have both been placed on temporary administrative leave from their positions until further information is available. Joe Donnell, a senior, concluded his work with the football team at the end of the football season in anticipation of his December graduation.

“Everyone at Tabor, including faculty, staff and students, is held to the highest standard of personal behavior expectations. As a Christian institution, we understand that people aren’t perfect and we walk through life together. We also know that our justice system requires time for investigation and so we wait to comment on legal matters rather than pass reactionary judgment.”

Last modified Dec. 7, 2017

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