Mississippi Rebels guard and leading scorer Dundrecous Nelson has been dismissed from the team following an arrest for charges of possessing drug paraphernalia, according to Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion Ledger.
At 1:24 a.m. early Wednesday morning, after Ole Miss’ win against SMU, an officer responded to a smell of marijuana coming from Nelson’s apartment, according to an Oxford Police Department incident report.
The report goes on to say Nelson and his friends, including Jamal Jones, who was also dismissed from the team, didn't answer the door when an officer arrived. But when Nelson left the apartment to claim a pizza delivery, the officer was waiting.
He found marijuana and other paraphernalia to use the drug. Unfortunately, the officer who reported it was making his second visit to the apartment, with the previous encounter ending with a warning that didn't end up being heeded by Nelson.
Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy gave the following statement about the incident (via AP):
'We’re all disappointed that this had to happen,” Kennedy told The Associated Press. 'But there’s a standard that has to be met to stay in this program. The fact that we had to take our most harsh disciplinary step speaks to the seriousness of the situation.'
Did Kennedy make the right move by dismissing Nelson and Jones?
Nelson, a Mississippi native, had seen his role on the team increase this season and was taking full advantage of the extra playing time. He averaged 12 points per game and was the team's top perimeter threat playing alongside Jarvis Summers.
That said, Kennedy was smart to take quick action before it appeared the school was sweeping the situation under the rug. Keeping a clean image is more important than ever in college athletics and that usually means decisions need to be made rapidly to diffuse potential problems.
Since he was reportedly given a pass the first time around, Nelson has nobody to blame but himself for losing his spot on the team. Hopefully it serves as a learning experience for him and he can land on his feet somewhere.
The Rebels begin SEC play with a road game against LSU on Saturday.