Washington football team puts coach Ryan Vermillion on criminal investigation leave

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The Washington football team has put head athletic coach Ryan Vermillion on administrative leave for what a spokesperson called an ongoing criminal investigation unrelated to the club.

Vermillion is in his second season with coach Ron Rivera in Washington after 18 seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department searched the Washington practice center on Friday, a source confirmed to ESPN. NBC Sports Washington was the first to report on the research.

Team officials were not aware of the investigation until DEA officers showed up at the facility on Friday, a source told ESPN’s John Keim.

The DEA spoke to several former Vermillion players earlier this year, a source with knowledge of the situation told Keim. A former player who spoke with the DEA said he had no useful information to share with them.

Vermillion did not travel with Washington this weekend for his game in Atlanta.

Vermillion’s attorney, Barry Coburn, declined to comment.

Washington coach Ron Rivera, who brought Vermillion with him from Caroline, declined to comment at his weekly press conference on Monday. He referred to the team’s statement.

“I won’t comment on how I personally feel about what is going on,” Rivera said.

Washington hired Vermillion shortly after Rivera in January 2020, with owner Dan Snyder calling him the perfect and “one of the most respected and experienced athletic coaches in the NFL.”

Vermillion is also the Washington infection control officer, managing the team’s health and safety protocols for COVID-19.

Prior to his time in Carolina, Vermillion spent a season as director of rehabilitation in Washington. Prior to that, he spent nine seasons on Hall of Fame coach Don Shula’s team with the Miami Dolphins: four as head coach and five as director of rehabilitation.

Vermillion graduated from the University of Miami in 1987.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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