Auburn Al, – (al.com) Auburn safety Demetruce McNeal‘s career at Auburn is over.
McNeal was dismissed from the football team Saturday afternoon after he wasarrested earlier in the morning on a possession of marijuana charge.
“After visiting with Demetruce, I made the decision to dismiss him from our team,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “We have high expectations both on and off the field for our players.”
The senior was booked early Saturday morning into the Lee County Detention Center, according to jail records.
McNeal, 21, did not attend practice Saturday.
The second-degree possession charge is considered a misdemeanor. McNeal was arrested by Auburn police and was booked shortly after 2 a.m. He was released on $500 bond a few hours after midnight, Lee County sheriff Jay Jones said.
McNeal was the Tigers’ leading returning tackler (90) from last season and was expected to start despite missing 16 practices dating back to the spring. The boundary safety practiced for the first time in preseason camp Mondayafter undergoing surgery on a staph infection in the offseason.
McNeal is the second player to be dismissed from the team by Malzahn since the start of preseason camp on Aug. 2. He joins backup tight end Ricky Parks, who wasdismissed for violating unspecified team rules. Malzahn took pride in the lack of off-the-field issues with his program since his hiring in December.
“Off the field, I’m very proud of our guys, too. Back for eight months, no off‑the‑field issues,” Malzahn said on July 17. “That’s a tribute to our players, real proud of those guys.”
McNeal’s departure leaves the Tigers in a bind with two weeks remaining before the season opener Aug. 31 against Washington State.