AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl has suspended two underclassmen starters indefinitely.
Sophomores Bryce Brown and Horace Spencer were arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession, Pearl announced at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The timetable for their return is not known.
“Bryce Brown and Horace Spencer will not practice today nor will they play tomorrow,” Pearl said. “Unfortunately they were arrested for misdemeanor possession. We’re disappointed. They’re embarrassed. These are really good kids that have done a lot of really good things and they made a mistake and they are going to pay a price for that mistake.”
The news came following Auburn’s first-ever appearance in Madison Square Garden, a loss to Boston College, on Monday night. Pearl said he has spoken with both players and their families.
“They understand they are role models,” Pearl said. “They’ve let their Auburn family down, they’ve let their own families down, their team down and they feel really badly about it.”
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Spencer has been a sizable presence in the paint for the Tigers this year. The Philadelphia native scored seven points and blocked six shots against the Eagles on Monday night.
Brown started the year with the hot hand, dropping in 19 points in Auburn’s home opener against North Florida.
Since then, however, the 6-foot-3 guard has struggled to connect from the 3-point line. Brown was 1-for-8 from the field against Boston College and 1-for-5 from deep.
Auburn will play its first home game in nearly a month on Thursday night against Coastal Carolina (5-6).
The Chanticleers, who currently rank 11th in the NCAA and first in the Sun Belt Conference in rebounds (43.8) will present challenges similar to what the Tigers have already faced this year.
“Coastal Carolina is an awfully good team. They’ve played a tough schedule and they’ve challenged us in recent years,” Pearl said. “We’ll be without our best defender in Bryce Brown and without our best rebounder in Horace Spencer. It will complicate things even further.”