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.
They were charged with five counts of robbery in the first degree, one count of burglary in the first degree, both 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.
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Auburn head coach Gene Chizik released a statement saying the four have been "permanently dismissed from the team."
McNeil, 22, who is from Mobile, Ala., started at safety last season as a junior. He made 56 tackles.
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 a party.