Jacksonville State senior running back Washaun Ealey was arrested on drug possession charges Wednesday and subsequently suspended for the Gamecocks' home opener Saturday. He was charged with second-degree marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia and released. Both charges are misdemeanors.
The incident was first reported by the Anniston Star.
“This is a violation of team policy,” Jacksonville State athletics director Warren Koegel said. “He's suspended for this game against Chattanooga, and we're going through the proper channels according to the policy.”
It marks the second arrest for Ealey, who was charged in a hit-and-run incident in August 2010.
“Obviously this is a concern, and we're dealing with it,” Koegel added. “He will not play.”
Ealey began his collegiate career at the University of Georgia and led the Bulldogs in rushing as a sophomore in 2010 with 811 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was granted his unconditional release the following offseason after several run-ins with head coach Mark Richt and the coaching staff, including multiple suspensions for violations of team rules. He transferred to FCS-level Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley Conference) for the 2011 season and led the team with a career-best 1,082 yards on the ground.
Ealey rushed for only nine yards last week in the 2012 opener after a knee injury sidelined him early in the game. He is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 20 running back for the 2013 NFL Draft. With a late-round projection, Ealey was the highest-ranked “small school” back entering the season.