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4 Missouri athletes arrested, suspended

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Four Missouri athletes — freshman basketball guards Wes Clark and Shane Rector and football defensive backs Aarion Penton and Shaun Rupert — were arrested Saturday night on suspicion of possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana.

They were arrested during a traffic stop in Columbia, Mo. All four players were suspended, the school announced Monday.

Men’s basketball coach Frank Haith said both of his players were suspended for a “violation of a team rule.”

“I’ve spoken to those guys once. I will speak with them again,” he said. “They will not be at practice today until we gather more information with what happened.”

The Tigers will be shorthanded with only three guards and seven scholarship players when they tip off against Davidson on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Missouri missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years after finishing 22-11 and 9-9 in the Southeastern Conference.

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, which first reported the arrests, police officers pulled over a car driven by Rupert at 11:32 p.m. after seeing that the rear license plate was expired, officer Latisha Stroer said.

Stroer said officers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle as they made contact with Rupert. They located a Swisher Sweet cigarillos package containing a substance that field-tested positive for marijuana.

Stroer said the four athletes were each issued a court summons and released.

Clark played in all 33 games this season as a backup point guard, averaging 20.4 minutes and 4.1 points. Rector averages 4.3 minutes and 0.5 points.

Penton appeared in every game of Missouri’s 12-2 season last fall as a freshman. He recorded 16 tackles and an interception. Rupert, a safety, redshirted in his first year with the team.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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