Gus Malzahn said he was aware of Michael Dyer's involvement in a robbery last March, but that he's not holding that against his star running back transfer.
"I am fully aware of Mike's circumstances," Malzahn said in a statement released by the school. "He knows very well the high standard we have of all our players here at Arkansas State, and I'm confident that he will meet those expectations."
Dyer testified in open court Wednesday that the gun used by former Auburn receiver Antonio Goodwin in the robbery of five people was his and he loaned it to Dakota Mosley, who also was involved.
Dyer says his teammates asked him to go along, but he refused, "They were still talking about getting a "lick in" or whatever, and I told them I wasn't going."
"I tried to talk to him….to be a man with him… because you shouldn't do someone like that," Dyer testified regarding Goodwin's decision to use the gun. "Tonio was a good person, not like that and I know that night they seemed to take it a little too far."
Dyer said he, Goodwin and three other teammates, who were at the robbery, were high on a synthetic marijuana called "spice" and that altered their judgment. Dyer was not charged with a crime, which is why he found a landing spot at Arkansas State. Still, this does raise all sorts of character questions like why Dyer had a gun in the first place? And why he thought it was OK to loan it to someone knowing that something bad could happen? Also, will he have trouble passing a drug test?
There's no question about Dyer's talent. He rushed for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns before his suspension, which made him the second-best running back in the SEC. But maturity and attitude are two things on which he needs to work.
If there's one positive it's that Dyer will have a whole year to get himself on the straight and narrow. Because of NCAA transfer rules, Dyer will have to sit out the 2012 season, but will have two years of eligibility remaining. Just from Malzahn's quote, there's no doubt there's a plan in place to make sure Dyer stays out of trouble, especially now that he's back in his home state and not far from his hometown of Little Rock. But Malzahn can't just hope Dyer changes and starts making good decisions, Dyer has to want to mature and start being accountable.
"I regret that I made some mistakes during my time at Auburn that unfortunately I cannot go back and change," Dyer said in a statement. "But I'm back home now, a changed person and moving forward with the help of my family and coaches at ASU."