Timothy Brooks, a student who briefly attended University of Richmond as a freshman in fall 2013, was charged with hatching a nationwide drug-smuggling operation, according to the Washington Post.
Brooks, 18, was admitted to Richmond to play lacrosse on scholarship during his senior year at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pa. Haverford is a town along the “Main Line,” a collection of affluent towns in suburban Philadelphia. Brooks chose to attend Richmond because the university had “everything he ever wanted,” according to his interview with phillylacrosse.com.
The qualities that attract many students to Richmond were the same qualities that Brooks admired about the university. Richmond’s great academic reputation, campus and location were his top reasons for choosing the university, he said. He described Richmond as being in a “perfect region.”
“Timmy was always really nice to me,” Sky Aitken, a Richmond freshman from Brooks’ hometown of Villanova, Pa., said. “I never knew him very well, but from what I heard from younger kids on the Haverford lacrosse team, he was extremely passionate when it came to lacrosse and truly cared for the game,” she said.
“I can imagine he came to Richmond for two reasons – to try and make a name for himself as the first recruit and start a great program,” Aitken said. “Also, Richmond is extremely similar to the Inter-Ac schools, the league in which Haverford is in. Many people come from our area and fit right in and it is a shame that Timmy never found his place here,” she said.
Richmond’s head lacrosse coach Dan Chemotti announced Dec. 1, 2012, that Brooks was the first recruit to sign for Richmond for the 2013-2014 season, according to laxpower.com.
“The first ever Division I commitment for the University of Richmond came from Timmy Brooks and we couldn’t be happier,” Chemotti said in an interview with laxpower.com. “The day that Timmy gave us his commitment was an exciting day for Richmond lacrosse.
“Timmy epitomizes the characteristics that we aim to be identified with as a program. His toughness, work ethic, and competitive nature are what make him such a talented player and his character and humility are what make him an even better person.”
Brooks left Richmond last year because of an unnamed injury, his attorney, Greg Pagano, said. The Richmond lacrosse program confirmed Brooks left the team in September.
Brooks, along with a fellow Haverford School graduate, Neil Scott, 25, recruited and supplied dealers with marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and hash oil to sell to teens at five high schools in what they called the “Main Line Take Over Project,” Risa Vetri Ferman, Montgomery County district attorney, said. The pair had students at Haverford College, Lafayette College and Gettysburg College working for them as well, according to Montgomery County police reports.
Radnor High School was one of the five high schools that Brooks and Scott targeted in their drug sales, according to Montgomery County police reports.
Although there are no statistics available regarding drug use among college students in Virginia, approximately 7 percent of Virginia residents reported past-month use of illicit drugs, while the national average was 8 percent, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Annie Geckle, a Richmond senior and a resident of Berwyn, Pa., said she couldn’t imagine what a scandal like this would have been like if she were still in high school on the Main Line.
“Even now, I have numerous friends with siblings who are still students at Haverford,” Geckle said. “I can only imagine that this will have a huge effect on every student, whether they are involved or not.”
Contact reporter Olivia Simons at firstname.lastname@example.org