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Flowers posts questionable photo on Facebook

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Flowers posts questionable photo on Facebook

T. Rees Shapiro, CT sports reporterWednesday, January 2; 7:12 PM

A photograph posted on Virginia Tech's redshirt junior cornerback Brandon Flowers' Facebook profile might raise some concerns over his off-the-field activities in his home town of Delray Beach, Fla., less than an hour away from where Flowers may be playing his last game in a Tech uniform in the Orange Bowl. Courtesy of Facebook.comThe caption on the picture reads, "Dis How Palm Beach County Dope Boiz Get Down Baaaaabeh Every day ##### Hustlin." The picture shows a mass of cash spread out on a carpet. The denominations of the bills appear to be mostly 20s, but there are 50s and 100s as well. The sum of the cash is impossible to calculate because the bills are not organized, strewn randomly on the floor, but one row of cash has more than 40 twenty dollar bills.

In the bottom right corner of the picture, which was in his photo album, "Dot," added on May 27, 2006, is a small plastic baggie containing what appears to be a white substance.

When asked about the picture, Flowers said he did not know what the white substance was, but that he posted it because he liked the look of all the cash.

Flowers said he did not take the picture; he said he added it onto his photo album after he saw it in another friend's photo album. Flowers also said he did not write the caption, though when uploading a new photo to Facebook, the site prompts the user who is adding the photo to write the caption.

Flowers said that the friend who originally uploaded the photo was from his hometown.

According to Tech's Web site, Flowers' hometown is listed as Delray Beach, which is inside the limits of Palm Beach County.

Flowers has already had a run in with the law as a Tech player.

He was arrested in Blacksburg, Va. on May 27, 2005, for illegally carrying a concealed weapon. The weapon was reportedly a nine millimeter Glock handgun.

Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster was shown the Facebook photo on Monday. He said he had never seen it before, and also said of the white substance, "I have no idea what that is."

When shown a copy of the picture Fort Lauderdale police officer Sgt. Frank Sousa said "It appears to be a bag of narcotics ... Possibly cocaine." Sousa cited that in his four years of experience working in the narcotics division of the police department he had encountered baggies of this kind on numerous occasions.

Sousa said that if he encountered a sum of cash that large and a baggie with a white substance in person he would have evidence enough to investigate further into illegal activity.

Most people, Sousa said, would not keep a stash of cash that great inside their house for no reason. He also said it common for suspects to flaunt their money and drugs in photographs.

However, Sousa also said it was impossible to determine from the photograph if the white substance in the bag was cocaine because officers would have handle the baggie in person and then lab test a suspicious white substance in order to officially determine if it is in fact cocaine.

As of midnight Dec. 30, four days before the Orange Bowl kickoff, Flowers' Facebook account was active and viewable to any member of the Tech virtual community.

As of 9 a.m. Dec. 31, after he was asked about the photograph, his privacy settings were changed, and his Facebook profile was hidden.

Flowers was recently projected as a second round draft pick by the NFL Draft Advisory Committee and has been debating all season whether to forego his senior year and turn professional after the Orange Bowl.

But in a year when former Tech football player Michael Vick was convicted and sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison for illegal dog fighting, NFL teams are even more wary of players' actions off the field.

Last week Bill Parcells, the new Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Miami Dolphins, said in his introductory news conference, "I don't want thugs and hoodlums on the team. I really don't. I don't want bad-character guys. I don't want problem children."

Flowers is viewed by his coaches as a standout football player; Foster said he was already an NFL prospect, and a potential early round draft pick.

In light of Flowers' previous gun charge in Blacksburg, his curious choice of photographs for his Facebook page, NFL team personnel specialists could possibly raise character issue questions before the April draft.


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