"If he felt this was best for him, that's OK. We talked about it and we moved on," Helfrich said a day after Lyerla left the program. "We wished him absolutely nothing but the best, and he wished us nothing but the best. There was no 'smoking gun,' so to speak."
Lyerla also landed in the doghouse this summer after he tweeted support of conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of his posts concerned the parents of the young victims.
The school issued a strongly worded statement condemning the post.
"Twitter posts attributed to student-athlete Colt Lyerla concerning the tragedy at Sandy Hook are insensitive and offensive, especially those devastated by the shootings, and we have communicated as much to Colt," the statement said.
He also missed the first several days of fall camp his sophomore year for personal reasons.
After his arrest Wednesday, Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff wrote on Twitter: "God be with my former teammate!!!"
The Lane County Sheriff's office release said detectives were working on an unrelated case when they observed Lyerla.
"Lyerla was contacted by police and admitted to using and possessing cocaine," said the release, prepared by Sgt. Steve French.
Detectives arranged to meet Lyerla at his residence to continue the investigation, but once there he ran from his car into a nearby apartment, the release said. He was arrested when he emerged a short time later.
Lyerla was being held in the Lane County Jail on Thursday.