Maybe Nick Marshall will sit out only one play.

In 1987, then-Auburn quarterback Jeff Burger was suspended for accepting a plane ride from a friend of a teammate in violation of NCAA rules governing extra benefits. The NCAA reinstated Burger’s eligibility, but the school imposed penalties on Burger, including not starting the following Saturday against Florida.

Then-Auburn coach Pat Dye sat down Burger … for one play. So much for the suspension.

Marshall, the current Auburn quarterback, was cited this summer for possession of marijuana after a traffic stop.

According to the school drug policy, if this was Marshall’s first drug-related offense at Auburn, no loss of playing time was required.

Even so, it’s good that Gus Malzahn announced Friday that Marshall will not start the season opener against Arkansas. As one of the school’s most visible athletes, Marshall faces a higher standard than, say, an Auburn volleyball player. As a result, he should face stiffer penalties when he violates a rule.

Now, all that’s left to see is how long Marshall actually will sit on the sideline.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter @MarkSportsStar.