HOOVER, Ala. — Four Auburn players arrested on marijuana possession charges in April will not missing playing time this season.
Defensive end Byron Cowart, cornerback Carlton Davis, receiver Ryan Davis and defensive back Jeremiah Dinson were arrested April 30 on charges of possession of marijuana in the second degree, a misdemeanor.
“There has been a decision made,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn announced at SEC Media Days. “Those four men made a mistake, we punished them and they won’t miss any time. THat’s behind us. Four fine young men, they made a mistake and I’m confident they won’t make any more.”
The four sophomores are set to appear in court on July 21, according to the Lee County Detention Center.
“They’re fine kids and I expect them to not make any more (mistakes),” Malzahn said.
Carlton Davis was an All-SEC freshman at cornerback last season for the Tigers and is expected to be a starter in 2016.
Cowart entered the 2015 season as the nation’s top strong-side defensive end and No. 3 player overall. He played in all 13 games, but finished with only six tackles. Dinson played in nine games and started one last season (nine tackles). Davis played in eight games and had two rushes for 20 yards.
The decision to not force the players to miss playing time is interesting. Facing similar charges, Auburn cornerback Jonathon Mincy and quarterback Nick Marshall (citation with no arrest) missed all or a portion of the first half of the season opener in 2014 against Arkansas.
Auburn opens the season at Jordan-Hare Stadium Sept. 3 against Clemson, the national runner-up last season.