Even though Sammy Watkins won't be suiting up for next Saturday's Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic against Auburn, Clemson won't be the only Tigers there with some off-field issues heading into their season opener.
Auburn center Reese Dismukes was arrested Friday night and charged with public intoxication, the Birmingham News reported Saturday. Dismukes posted a $300 bond and was released, according to Lee County Sheriff's office online records.
The arrest report, obtained by the Opelika-Auburn News, shows that Dismukes was arrested in downtown Auburn at 2:03 a.m. after officers noticed his apparent intoxication. Dismukes did not resist arrest.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik announced Saturday afternoon that Dismukes has been suspended indefinitely.
"I am very disappointed in Reese Dismukes for his irresponsible behavior last night," Chizik said in a statement. "This kind of behavior will not be tolerated at Auburn and I have suspended Reese as a result of his actions."
Chizik did not set a timetable for Dismukes' return, though he is obviously expected to miss the season opener vs. Clemson. Earlier this week, Auburn already suspended senior receiver Deangelo Benton for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Unlike Benton, however, Dismukes is a proven contributor expected to play a critical role in the Auburn offense. The sophomore started all 13 games at center as a true freshman last season, earning freshman All-American and freshman All-SEC honors. As one of three returning starters on the Auburn offensive line, the Rimington Watch List member had been praised by Chizik as a key offensive leader.
"He’s a tough guy that shows up to practice and goes to work every day," Chizik said recently, as quoted by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "He’s the guy that’s going to have to anchor that line and he’s been very consistent."
Dismukes' backup on the depth chart is redshirt sophomore Tunde Fariyike, who appeared in all 13 games in 2011 on special teams. Fariyike has yet to see any meaningful playing time at center.
Which means any absence from Dismukes could be a stiff blow for a line that has been unsettled all offseason, and still has no determined first-string lineup seven days before the season opener. All the same, an arrest like this one seems to have left Chizik little choice but to go to Atlanta without his starting center.