MU receiver Levi Copelin suspended by NCAA for 2014 season

07/29/2014 5:34 PM

07/29/2014 6:05 PM

Missouri sophomore wide receiver Levi Copelin has been suspended by the NCAA for the 2014 football season after testing positive for a non-approved nutritional supplement.

In a release from MU’s athletic department, Copelin, a redshirt sophomore from Broken Arrow, Okla., said he bought an over-the-counter nutritional supplement and used it without clearance from the Tigers’ strength coaches or training staff.

“This was a stupid mistake on my part, and I’m very sorry that I put myself and my team in this situation,” Copelin said. “This is a hard lesson to learn, as I never had the wrong intentions. I also understand there aren’t any shortcuts to success.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel called it “a very unfortunate situation, but one that Levi created for himself” by not following the program guideline about getting supplements approved.

“He’s paying the price for this mistake, and I commend him for owning up to it and taking responsibility,” Pinkel said in the release.

Pinkel also said the Tigers will continue to support Copelin during his suspension and that he has “high expectations that (Copelin) will handle all of his responsibilities in the classroom, in the community and on the field in a first-class manner.”

Copelin appeared in all 14 games last season, finishing with three catches for 61 yards. He also had a 10-yard punt return, a 16-yard kickoff return and four tackles as a special teams contributor.

“There’s nothing I can do except dedicate myself to representing me, my family, my team and Mizzou the right way going forward,” Copelin said. “I’m very grateful to my coaches and my teammates for giving me a chance to overcome this.”

Copelin entered the spring as the No. 2 “Y” receiver and was expected to push for a starting job, but when Missouri released its updated depth chart earlier this month he had been dropped to No. 3 “H” receiver.

He was arrested in October 2012 for marijuana possession, a charge that was reduced to second-degree trespassing. In January, Copelin was arrested at the MU identification office for a peace disturbance. He is due in court Aug. 6 on that charge.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @todpalmer.

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