According to court documents, former Northern Illinois defensive lineman Frank Boenzi faces charges of two Class A misdemeanors after being charged with possessing 10-30 grams of cannabis and attempting to manufacture or deliver 10-30 grams of cannabis in DeKalb County on June 11.
NIU spokeswoman Donna Turner confirmed Thursday that Boenzi was dismissed from the Huskies for a violation of team rules.
NIU released this statement from coach Dave Doeren: “Frank Boenzi is no longer a member of the Northern Illinois football team due to a violation of team policy. There are certain expectations and standards of conduct that we set for student-athletes in our program, and unfortunately, Frank did not meet those expectations. We wish him the very best in the future.”
Boenzi, a Geneva graduate, has a plea setting set for 9 a.m. on July 20. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Shaw Media was unable to contact Boenzi for comment.
A redshirt sophomore, Boenzi finished the 2011 season with 12 tackles, three tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a sack. He tied a career-high three tackles in NIU's Mid-American Conference Championship Game victory over Ohio.
Boenzi struggled to qualify academically to NIU after giving the Huskies a verbal commitment in 2009. His grades had dogged him throughout a tiring recruiting process that caused some Bowl Championship Series programs to shy away from the heralded defensive tackle. But Boenzi said he put in the work to keep his grades up, telling the Daily Chronicle in the spring of 2011 he got a 3.0 grade point average his first semester in DeKalb.
In high school, Boenzi was a three-year starter for a Geneva team that had a 33-4 record during his career. He was the Western Sun Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year his senior year, and earned all-area recognition from the Kane County Chronicle in 2008 and 2009.
– Steve Nitz, email@example.com, @SNitz_DDC on Twitter