HOOVER -- Sophomore guard Shaq Johnson was dismissed from the Auburn men’s basketball team Thursday about 12 hours after he was arrested for second-degree possession of marijuana.
Johnson was charged after being pulled over for a traffic stop at 11:54 p.m. Wednesday on South College Street involving a Chevy Tahoe SUV, according to Auburn Police Capt. Tom Stofer.
Johnson was booked at 1:47 a.m. and released at 1:53 a.m. on $500 bond, according to Capt. Van Jackson of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Second-degree marijuana possession is a Class A misdemeanor. Johnson was charged with second-degree possession instead of first degree because authorities determined the marijuana was for "personal use," according to Jackson. The maximum penalty is one year in jail and $6,000 if Johnson is found guilty.
“We hold our student-athletes to a high standard at Auburn University in the way that they conduct themselves off the court,” Barbee said in a statement released through the university. “I am very disappointed in Shaq’s choices and actions, and they won’t be tolerated. This decision is not one that I take lightly, but it is in the best interest of both the program and the student-athlete.”
Johnson played in all 32 games in 2012-13, starting 21. He averaged 18.1 minutes per contest and scored 6.2 points per game in SEC play.
Speaking with reporters earlier this month, Barbee was pleased with Johnson's offseason work ethic. He joked the sophomore looked more like a football player after bulking up over the summer. Johnson likely would have been part of Auburn's starting backcourt this winter.
A revolving door with player personnel continues to be a problem for Barbee's program. With Johnson gone, Auburn only has two remaining players from last year's incoming class (Jordon Granger and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum). The Tigers have lost four players (Johnson, Jordan Price, Brian Greene Jr., Shareif Adamu) from that class.
Johnson is the seventh player who signed with Barbee -- and 11th overall -- to leave his program.
-- Opelika-Auburn News reporter Tamiko Lowery contributed to this report
Ryan Wood is the Auburn University Sports Beat Writer for the Opelika-Auburn News.