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Friday, March 11, 2011

Four Auburn football players dismissed from team after arrest for robbery, burglary, theft of property

AUBURN, Ala. — Four Auburn football players — Mike McNeil, Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens and Dakota Mosley — have been kicked off the team after being arrested early Friday morning on charges of robbery, burglary and theft of property.

The four are currently being held at Lee County Detention Center, each on a $511,000 bond, according to the Auburn Police Department.

(UPDATE: According to the Opelika-Auburn News, Mosley had posted bond.)

They were charged with five counts of robbery in the first degree and one count of burglary in the first degree, Class A felonies under Alabama state law, and one count of theft of property in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

A first-degree burglary conviction in Alabama is punishable by 10 years to life in prison and a $60,000 fine.

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik released a statement saying the four have been "permanently dismissed from the team."

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McNeil, 22, who is from Mobile, Ala., started at safety last season as a junior. He made 56 tackles, including a team-high 14 in Auburn's BCS title game victory against Oregon.

Goodwin, 20, and Kitchens, 19, wide receivers from Atlanta and College Park, Ga., respectively, played mostly on special teams as freshmen. Mosley, 19, a tight end from Little Rock, Ark., redshirted.

According to the Auburn police, officers responded to a robbery report at a residence located on the 2300 block of Wire Road at 12:25 a.m. The five victims present told police three black males entered the residence, with one displaying a hand gun.

Personal property was stolen, although it was not specified. No injuries were reported.

A patrolman responded to the area and observed what he believed to be the suspects' vehicle based on the description he was given. Officers stopped the car and found a pistol and the stolen property before transporting the four to the Lee County Detention Center.

Chizik offered the following statement: “The players arrested in connection with this deeply troubling incident have been permanently dismissed from our football team. While we realize the legal process will run its course and these young men have a right for their case to be heard, playing for Auburn University is an honor and a privilege. It is not a right.

“We hold our student-athletes to a high standard of conduct on and off the field as representatives of Auburn University, and this kind of behavior is not tolerated.

“I am extremely disappointed and embarrassed by the actions of these individuals. I want to personally apologize to all of those who were impacted by this senseless act, including the victims, Auburn University and the Auburn family.”

Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs stood behind Chizik's actions.

"This type of behavior will not be tolerated at Auburn," he said. "I fully support coach Chizik’s swift and decisive action to dismiss these four student-athletes from our football team effective immediately.”

Teammates expressed shock about the players' arrest. Former left tackle Lee Ziemba called the incident "unfortunate" and "embarrassing" during an appearance on Paul Finebaum's radio show. Former safety Zac Etheridge tweeted: "Prayers going up for those guys. Not like them to do that!!!"

It's the second time in the last month Auburn has dismissed a player because of legal issues. Running back Eric Smith was kicked off the team Feb. 28 after being arrested for third-degree domestic violence. It occurred a year and a half after he was arrested for third-degree assault for knocking a fellow student unconscious at an area hotel.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

good grief. 5 players kicked off the team for violent crimes in 2 weeks.

i know they are still kids but i don't understand how anyone, with the opportunity these guys were given, could be so stupid

Anonymous said...

wow...I'd say it is time for a team meeting.

Sullivan013 said...

Kudos for Chizik not pulling the 'waiting for more information on charges' BS of other institutions.

Good riddance. Not Auburn men.

Chris P. said...

We should all send CGC a letter of thanks for not tolerating this type of activity. What on earth could they be thinking...

Door #1: Free education, playing for the defending Nat. Champs, potential for huge payoff if they make the NFL...
Door #2: Prison

Anonymous said...

Sad to read this but under the circumstances, proud that Coach Chiz acted promtly and decisively. Feel bad for the rest of the football players...opens the doors for the "haters" to apply the guilt by association treatment we have seen for most of the past year.

Anonymous said...

How in the world can these people be so stupid?? My Ducks had similar crap last off-season. It just boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

SAD BUT TRUE I TELL YA I KNOW THEY ARE FEELING REAL STPID RIGHT NOW. HAD A FUTURE NOW DOWN THE TUBES IN A MATTER OF MINS. NO NEED TO CRY KIDS U KNEW BETTER SHEESH.

WokDontRun said...

Any chance the victims dont press charges?

MikeP said...

I don't think the victims have to press charges in a felony case. Charges won't just be dropped, whether the victims press or not.

The victims will be called to testify as witnesses.

These guys could have had a bright future and now they will certainly do some hard time.

Sucks for them and it sucks for Auburn and it sucks for us Auburn fans. The university and the fans will get over it. The four robbers will not.

MikeP said...

Andy: Here's your opportunity for journalist greatness, or at least an Auburn version of a Pulitzer.

These guys didn't just sit around and decide to rob a house out of boredom or because they were broke.

There has to be some history here between the "victims" and one or more of the players. Some score was being settled or whatever. I don't think the players expected the people in that house to bring the police into it.

That in no way excuses what they did, but the background story may well explain their actions.

Find out "the rest of the story" and reap your great rewards, or at least the undying admiration of your faithful readers. Opporknockity tunes!

Anonymous said...

You guys act like Chizik did the right thing when he had no choice since there was a gun involved with it and he was loosing control of the team. 99 percent of coaches would have kick them off

Sullivan013 said...

Not necessarily. Think back when Lane Kiffen had three of his players arrested for armed robbery. His response?

"We've got to get the information in, so we're not going to make any judgments until we have all that information," Kiffin said. "Then we'll go from there once we get it."

ESPN Sports October 13, 2009.

When Jeremy Elder was arrested for armed robbery on the Alabama Campus, Nick Saban waited two full days before suspending him indefinitely. Only later, after he admitted to the crime was he kicked off.

Again, CGC acted quickly and decisively.

MikeP said...

The last anonymous says: "and he was loosing control of the team."

You went to UAT didn't you? Even the UGA grads I am familiar with know the difference between "loosing" and "losing". However, as for Coach Chizik losing control, that's wishful thinking.

I've never seen a coach as in control of a team as Chizik is at Auburn. I don't think he'll turn that control loose any time soon, nor will he lose control.

Chizik could have delayed his decision like Saban, Richt or Meyer at Florida would have done. Instead he took quick and forceful action. Kudos for that.

easyedwin said...

Chizik rules. Auburn could not have asked for a better HC. The sad part is that no one can control what college students think or do. We all agree that was a bonehead action by the players. These are serious chargess and prison time is a possibility. If they have NO CRIMINAL RECORD, they might get a lighter sentence.

Anonymous said...

OK this is what I find amazing. I keep hearing how great Gene Cheezit is from AU fans. However I can remember when Jacobs hired him from ISU aburn fans were so disgusted. Now you praise him like he is God. i guess that is the Auburn way. 2 Faced. Also want to let you know Im not an alabama fan so dont comment back like I am one.

P.S Cam Newton and auburn are cheaters