Ealey, 23, is charged with second-degree marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both charges are misdemeanors. JSU police arrested Ealey at a campus apartment at 7:24 this morning, according to the arrest report.
According to law enforcement and university sources, the arrest occurred after UPD officers searched Ealey’s residence in response to a noise complaint.
Ealey reportedly was in the residence alone after returning from an early-morning workout. The arrest report shows he was released at 10:15 a.m. Ealey was said to have returned to class shortly after his release.
"This is a violation of team policy," JSU athletics director Warren Koegel said. "He's suspended for this game against Chattanooga and we're going thorugh the proper channels according to the policy. ... Obviously this is a concern and we're dealing with it. He will not play."
The athletics department is expected to make a formal announcement later today.
The arrest is another early-season setback for Ealey, a 1,000-yard rusher with NFL aspirations. He injured his right knee early in the Gamecocks’ season-opening game at Arkansas last Saturday and was held to nine yards on four carries.
He was working with the training staff toward a return to this weekend’s home opener against Chattanooga and was said to be in position to play in the game. Because of the nature of the charges, Ealey is expected to be subject to the athletics department’s drug testing procedures.
With Ealey out, the Gamecocks will turn to their initial post-injury plan of giving Anniston freshman Troymaine Pope and sophomore Damarcus James the majority of the work. They combined for 109 yards on 23 carries in the loss to Arkansas.
Ealey rushed for more than 1,082 yards last season. He considered entering the NFL draft after the season, but returned for his senior year. He is one of a limited number of non-FBS players on the Senior Bowl Watch List.