Tarell Brown, Tyrell Gatewood Suspended

Starting RCB Tarell Brown and backup safety Tyrell Gatewood, booked Monday on misdemeanor drug possession charges, will not play in Texas' Saturday showdown against top-ranked Ohio State, Longhorn coach Mack Brown announced Tuesday.

"They were told Monday, with the team and the staff, that they would not participate in the game," Brown said. "When we released the statement that the young men would not be involved in any team activities, I thought it would go without saying. They are not participating with the team and they will not be with the team on Saturday and will not play."

When asked if the suspensions would have any effect on Saturday's game, the head coach replied: "No. None whatsoever."

The two players' future with the program is undetermined, pending the outcome of the legal process.

"I haven't got past Saturday," Brown said. "I'm working on Ohio State."

Tarell Brown, Tyrell Gatewood and former Longhorn linebacker Aaron Harris were charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. Brown was also charged with illegal possession of a weapon (Class A misdemeanor charges). According to a probable cause affidavit, the three were arrested in the 7700 block of Interstate 35 at 2:48 a.m., Monday. Harris was driving Gatewood's car and, according to the affidavit, both Gatewood and Brown were asleep in the car at the time of the arrest. Harris admitted he had been smoking marijuana before the sheriff's department pulled him over for swerving in a north bound lane, according to reports.

"We will try to help the families, individually, and move forward with our team with the ballgame on Saturday," Brown said. "I can't comment, other than that, on anything because it's not my job. My job is to get our team ready to play Ohio State."

So, how does Mack Brown plan to mitigate the effects of losing a two-year starter Saturday whom many consider to be the team's top cover-man?

"We haven't yet decided what we'll do with our secondary," Brown said. "We're working out things right now that will try to help us Saturday in our secondary. We've got good players, we've got good coaches, and that's our job. We'll have somebody step up, play well, and move forward for the game."

Brandon Foster is a prime candidate to log his first start against the Buckeyes. He enjoyed such a breakout spring that coaches named him the team's starting nickel back and Brown's primary understudy. SS Michael Griffin is easily among the nation's top DBs and worked at both cornerback positions last month...just in case. He could also be spun-down on explosive WR Ted Ginn while at safety. For now, Mack Brown believes the best scenario is for the suspended players to refrain from football until their legal issues are resolved.

"When a young man has some personal issues, it's a distraction for him when he's trying to play," Brown said, "so it's probably not safe, either. You'd like for the young people to get the personal things fixed in their life before."

Austin attorney Jamie Balagia, who represents both players, has said the gun belongs to Gatewood. Both players were drug-tested Monday in order to prove they were not smoking marijuana, according to reports.

"There is a legal system," Mack Brown said, "and the American way is to make sure everybody has an opportunity to go through that system, and has their rights, before it's determined whether someone is guilty or not. The legal system is out of your control and The University is obviously very important with its integrity. And you want to do what's best for young men to learn and move forward in their lives. You can't let a football game distract from what's important for people."

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