Red Wolves' Malzahn Discusses Details Of Michael Dyer Dismissal At Arkansas State

by Daniel McFadin  on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 10:20 pm  

ASU parted ways with running back Michael Dyer over the weekend. Gus Malzahn met with media to discuss why his decision was made. (Photo by Jeff Hankins)

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Arkansas State Coach Gus Malzahn knew of a March traffic stop involving Michael Dyer, but had no plans to dismiss the running back.

Then Malzahn watched video of the stop late last week and made the decision to cut ties with the Auburn transfer nearly four months after Dyer was pulled over by a state trooper near Searcy.

Malzahn, began his media day press conference Wednesday by addressing the recent dismissal of Dyer. He read from a prepared statement totaling just more than 475 words (the statement is available at the bottom of this post), explaining why it took more than four months to cut ties with the Auburn transfer and former Little Rock Christian star.

Per Malzahn’s account of the events: he was approached in March by Robert Speers, a local trooper who has previously worked security detail for Red Wolves coaches. Malzahn said he was told at the time the stop involved a gun and drugs, but after following up with Dyer was led to believe only a gun was involved.

Malzahn said Dyer “adamantly” denied having been in possession of drugs. Because Dyer was only issued a $175 speeding ticket, there “was no evidence of drug use [and] no citation issued for drug possession,” Malzahn decided to handle the matter internally.

That decision was revisted on July 27, when the Arkansas State Police contacted ASU’s Media Relations Department to inform the school of a video that would shed more light on the traffic stop conducted by trooper Royce Denney. Dyer and fellow teammate Ronnell White, a senior defensive lineman from Savannah, Ga., were seen on the video after being pulled over by Denney, who is currently under investigation for his actions during the stop.

Malzahn said he then informed University administration about the situation and on Friday night obtained a copy of the dashboard camera video from Denney’s cruiser.

“I witnessed for the first time the incriminating remarks made by the female passenger and by Mike himself. Along with the events that took place in the new video, the evidence gave me strong reason to believe that there were drugs involved despite the adamant denials,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn, who said he had no relationship or prior contact with Denney, contacted Dyer following his viewing of the tape. It was then he informed Dyer of the new information in his possession and that he would follow up with the player the next day. Malzahn said he informed the university administration on July 28 that he would be dismissing Dyer from the team and then he officially dismissed Dyer that afternoon.

Whether Dyer will play somewhere is unclear. Malzahn, with a hint of sadness in his voice, said he did not know what is next for Dyer, who transferred to Arkansas State after two seasons at Auburn. Dyer was suspended indefinitely by Tigers Coach Gene Chizik prior to the Chik-fil-A Bowl.

“I do not know his future plans, but I will tell you this: Michael Dyer has a very good heart; he made some bad decisions,” Malzahn said. “I care deeply for him and I wish nothing but the best in the future and I’m sorry it didn’t work out here.”

Malzahn also informed Wright of his suspension after viewing the tape. Wright appeared in all 13 games last season, recording eight tackles.



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