Alabama has suspended freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell following his arrest last week in Florida that resulted in drug and weapon charges. Mitchell, who is facing a charge of marijuana possession with the intent to sell and/or deliver, was driving a car with another man, Christopher Lewis, as the passenger when police detected the "odor of burnt marijuana" at a traffic stop, according to the Holmes County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office.
Mitchell and Lewis were taken into custody when a search of the vehicle produced a significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun and a large amount of cash. Lewis was also charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.
"Everybody's got an opportunity to make choices and decisions," coach Nick Saban said during a Monday press conference, per AL.com. "There's no such thing as the wrong place at the wrong time. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations."
Saban's words are interesting given what Alabama men's basketball coach Nate Oats said in February regarding star freshman Brandon Miller and his connection to a fatal shooting in Tuscaloosa in January. Notably, Oats found himself in hot water after telling reporters that Miller was in the "wrong spot at the wrong time." Police testimony states Miller brought a gun to a teammate, Darius Miles, that was later used to kill 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris. Miller has not been charged in the matter, however.
Oats later apologized for his statement. Athletic director Greg Byrne noted in interviews that the university was not fully informed of Miller's role before Oats spoke to the media.
"We were informed by law enforcement of other student-athletes being in the vicinity, and law enforcement has repeatedly told us that no other student-athletes were suspects -- they were witnesses only," Oats wrote in a statement. "Our understanding is that they have all been fully truthful and cooperative. In no way did I intend to downplay the seriousness of this situation or the tragedy of that night. My prayers continue to go out to Jamea Harris' family."