Auburn’s 2014 recruiting class, rated ninth in the country by Rivals.com, could potentially see its ranks thinned thanks to an off-field incident earlier today.
Al.com‘s Brandon Marcello is reporting that Kalvaraz Bessent was arrested early Saturday in Nassau (Fla.) County. The most serious charges the cornerback faces are possession of marijuana over 20 grams and possession with intent; both of those are felonies. A misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was slapped on for good measure.
Details of what led to the arrest and charges are unknown at this time, and Auburn has not commented on what if any impact the incident will have on Bessent’s future on The Plains.
Bessent was one of the highest-rated pieces of AU’s defensive recruiting puzzle, given a four-star nod by Rivals. The recruiting service had the Kingsland, Ga., product rated as the No. 12 corner in the country and the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Georgia.
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)
UPDATED 9:29 pm. ET: Here’s an update from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, followed by a tweet from Bessent’s Twitter account posted after his arrest.
According to Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, Bessent’s arrest came as a result of a traffic stop. A 2007 Dodge Charger driven by Elbert Thornton was pulled over a Nassau County deputy on U.S. Route 1 on Friday night just after 10 p.m. for exceeding the speed limit, clocked at 58 miles per hour in a posted 45 mph zone. While performing the traffic stop, the deputy detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the car.
After asking all four occupants to step out of the vehicle, a search was conducted, where the deputy seized four separate bags containing 202.5 grams of marijuana under the driver’s and the front passenger seat where Bessent had been. None of the individuals took ownership, with each being placed arrest on the same three counts: marijuana possession of more than 20 grams (a felony); marijuana possession with intent to distribute (a felony); and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.