Other than the arrest of four football players for marijuana possession back in May, the offseason had been fairly quiet for Auburn football. Then, Wednesday night, safety Stephen Roberts was arrested for attempt to elude an officer and possessing a firearm without a permit. James Crepea of AL.com was the first to report on this news.
Roberts, a junior from Opelika, was in line for a fair bit of playing time this season at the Safety position. The depth at that spot probably stood at Tray Matthews and Rudy Ford as the starter, but Roberts would be first up for when Ford slides over to the Nickel spot. That, obviously, is in question, now.
There hasn't been any word on what consequences he'll face with the team. According to Crepea, the charges Class A misdemeanors that "carry a penalty of no more than one year in jail and up to a $6,000 fine."
What's not in the report is just what led Roberts to attempt to elude the officer. Carrying a firearm without a license is not illegal in Alabama if it's being carried openly and not in violation of other applicable laws. So, there are still facts to be gathered. If the weapon was concealed, then he's absolutely in violation of the law without a permit. If he wasn't carrying it concealed, then there are questions about the arrest. I'm guessing it was not in a holster device, which is another requirement for open carry. I don't know how old Roberts is, too, which could also come into play.
Either way, what was he doing out with a pistol that time of night in the first place? He made some poor choices to put himself in whatever position led the officer to chase him. He should have been trying to find some of that sweet air conditioning, instead.
We will, obviously, have more on this as it develops.