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Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner addresses Byron Cowart’s arrest

Auburn defensive lineman Byron Cowart runs drills during spring practice on March 8, 2016.
Auburn defensive lineman Byron Cowart runs drills during spring practice on March 8, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner sees Byron Cowart’s arrest for possession of marijuana as nothing more than a teaching moment.

The sophomore lineman was arrested in Auburn on April 30 with defensive back Carlton Davis, sophomore wide receiver Ryan Davis and defensive back Jeremiah Dinson.

All four players face second-degree possession charges, a Class A misdemeanor, and are schedule to appear in court on July 21.

A month before the arrest, Garner praised Cowart’s maturity during the offseason for the way the Florida native handled a challenging freshman season.

Garner shared why he doesn’t regret the comments when he addressed Cowart’s arrest for the first time Thursday at the Southwest Georgia Auburn Club Cleve Wester Scholarship Golf Tournament.

“I think they’re all remorseful,” Garner said. “They made a mistake, we disciplined them and we got to move on and learn from it. You try to put corrective measures in place that when a young man makes a mistake, you use it as a teaching moment. You discipline them and all that, but hopefully they learn something from it and won’t repeat the same mistake.”

Garner referred to Cowart’s punishment in past tense, but Auburn coach Gus Malzahn hasn’t publically announced what it will be. Malzahn has declined to offer an update on the situation since discussing the arrest during an early Tiger Trek tour stop in LaGrange.

Garner has already moved on.

“I think all kids make mistakes,” Garner said. “I got six, and I know mine make mistakes daily. The problem is they’re student-athletes, and everything is magnified. Like I said, you use it as a teaching moment. You try to learn from it. You try to grow from it and you try not to repeat it.”

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