James Lavell Whitley (born May 13, 1979) is a former American football player.
Whitley was born in Decatur, Illinois, but he attended high school in Norfolk, Virginia. He was a star football player on both defense and offense for Norview High School.
Whitley played college football for the University of Michigan from 1997 to 2000. As a freshman, he played for the undefeated 1997 Michigan Wolverines football team that defeated Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl to win a national championship. In December 2000, he was dismissed from the team following an arrest for carrying a concealed weapon. During his four years as a player for Michigan, Whitley had 145 tackles, 42 assists, 6 interceptions, and 21 punt returns for 172 yards.
Whitley played two seasons as a defensive back in the National Football League for the St. Louis Rams (2002–2003) and Green Bay Packers (2003–2004). He was waived by the Packers in October 2004 and signed in November 2004 with the Carolina Panthers. However, he did not appear in any games for the Panthers.
In 2009, Whitley was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at her friend's apartment in Pittsfield Township, Michigan. In December 2009, Whitley pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of aggravated assault prior to his trial on more serious sexual assault charges. He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to undergo anger management counseling and complete 100 hours of community service.