4 Auburn players dismissed from team after arrest

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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn coach Gene Chizik has dismissed four players from the national champions after they were arrested on robbery and other charges early Friday morning.

Auburn police said Mike McNeil, Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens and Dakota Mosley were each charged with five counts of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of third-degree theft of property.

Police said in a statement that three black males entered a residence with five occupants at 12:25 a.m. Friday and one was armed with a handgun. Mosley is white.

Police said there were no injuries reported. The four were in a vehicle stopped by police based on a description given by the victims, and officers recovered a pistol and property reported stolen from the residence.

All were taken to the Lee County Detention Center on $511,000 bond.

Chizik said he was “extremely disappointed and embarrassed” by the incident.

“The players arrested in connection with this deeply troubling incident have been permanently dismissed from our football team,” Chizik said in a statement. “While we realize the legal process will run its course and these young men have a right for their case to be heard, playing for Auburn University is an honor and a privilege. It is not a right.

“We hold our student-athletes to a high standard of conduct on and off the field as representatives of Auburn University, and this kind of behavior is not tolerated.”

Auburn also kicked running back Eric Smith off the team following his Feb. 22 arrest on a third-degree domestic violence charge.

McNeil, 22, was a starting safety who had 14 tackles, 12 of them solo stops, in the national title game against Oregon. He finished fifth on the team with 56 tackles.

Kitchens, 19, and Goodwin, 20, were reserve receivers who played mostly on special teams as freshmen while Dakota Mosley, 19, is a tight end who redshirted last season.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.