The Birmingham News' Charles Goldberg reports this morning that Auburn center Reese Dismukes was arrested last night on a public intoxication charge. Reese was booked and released after posting a $300 bond. The Auburn athletics department was made aware of the arrest.
A public intoxication charge is classified as a violation, which is below a misdemeanor. Individuals charged usually pay a fine between $50-$150 , depending on jurisdiction, and any associated court costs. Since Dismukes is still a minor, he will be eligible for youthful offender status, where he would plead guilty to violating the Youthful Offender Act in lieu of the PI charge. Additionally or alternatively, assuming this is his first offense, he would also be eligible for a deferral, where he would pay any associated court costs and fines, and attend any court ordered alcohol education classes. On completion of the deferral program, the charge would be dismissed.
As all this relates to Auburn football, it really couldn't come at a worse time. With the team gearing up to face Clemson in Atlanta one week from today, we're pretty sure the coaches really did not want this kind of distraction. What's worse, Dismukes is a key player who literally touches the ball every play. The chemistry between the quarterback and center must be fluid, so as to assure a smooth, clockwork-like transfer of the ball at the beginning of each play.
Any punishment by head coach Gene Chizik would depend on Dismukes' disciplinary history. Hopefully he hasn't been in Chizik's doghouse too often, but one would think an incident like this will lead to at least a one-game suspension. A suspension of Dismukes would mean that sophomore Tunde Fariyike would get his chance at center against Clemson. The team is off today and will continue practice tomorrow. We will be waiting to see how all of this unfolds in the next couple of days.
Coach Chizik acted quickly in suspending Dismukes earlier this afternoon. "I am very disappointed in Reese Dismukes for his irresponsible behavior last night," Chizik said in a press release. "This kind of behavior will not be tolerated at Auburn and I have suspended Reese as a result of his actions." The statement did not include a time frame for his suspension. As mentioned before, sophomore Tunde Fariyike will presumably step in at center for the Clemson game. Let's hope Tunde will rise to the occasion given to him.