These are not glory days for Warren football standouts DeCree, Provitt

By Ed Runyan


These are not glory days in the lives of two former Warren football standouts being prosecuted on drug and weapons charges.

Van DeCree, 59, of Warren, a former All- America defensive end in 1973 and 1974 for Ohio State University, got a break last October, when Judge Peter Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court allowed him to take part in the treatment-in-lieu-of-conviction program.

It meant he could have six drug charges and workers’-compensation fraud wiped clean if he completed a one-year drug-treatment program.

But in May, a hearing was scheduled to bring him back before Judge Kontos on an allegation by the county Adult Probation Department that DeCree, who graduated from Warren Western Reserve High School, tested positive for cocaine.

At a hearing Monday, DeCree was slapped with two more probation violations — for failing to provide a urine sample at last week’s hearing and for apparently giving a phony sample at the courthouse Monday.

Tracy Hunt, his probation officer, said a deputy sheriff accompanied DeCree to the restroom to provide the sample. The container DeCree provided was “ice-cold,” clear water, suggesting that he had filled up the container with water from the toilet, Hunt said.

Hunt tested the sample with portable equipment, confirming that the sample contained water. A test at a lab will check it again.

DeCree’s next hearing will be Sept. 16.

Meanwhile, Omar Provitt, 40, of Warren, one of the most-talented receivers in Warren G. Harding High School history, appeared before Judge Kontos on Monday also.

Provitt, who played on Harding’s 1990 state championship team, was indicted last December on three felony weapons charges after Warren police made a traffic stop on his car at 3:37 a.m. Nov. 25 on Youngstown Road.

The stop resulted from a 911 call about a disturbance on Woodbine Avenue Southeast, and a witness told police Provitt’s car was involved. Police charged Provitt after finding a loaded handgun in the car.

Provitt isn’t allowed to possess firearms because in 2002 he was convicted in Trumbull County on five counts of cocaine trafficking and sentenced to two years in prison.

DeCree and Provitt could each get several years in prison if convicted.

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