ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The arrest of Aaron Johnson left New Mexico
coach Ritchie McKay with no choice other than to dismiss the senior
forward from the men's basketball team, McKay said.
Johnson, a Penn State transfer, was arrested early Saturday
morning and charged with four counts of battery on a police
Johnson became a former Lobo on Sunday.
"I am disappointed that Aaron chose to make the decision he
made," McKay told The Albuquerque Tribune from Australia, where he
is on a recruiting trip. "I wouldn't categorize him as a person
who lacks character. I just think he made a poor decision. And
based on the decision he made, I had no other choice."
Johnson, 22, was released from the Metropolitan Detention Center
on a $20,000 bond later Saturday.
According to a metropolitan court complaint, the 6-foot-9,
240-pound Johnson struck four police officers attempting to remove
him from a downtown night club.
McKay said he is unsure of Johnson's plans, but that Johnson
might have a desire to remain at the university and try to be
reinstated as a Lobo.
But the coach said he is closing off all possibilities of
Johnson has one year of eligibility remaining. He averaged 10.2
points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his three-year career at Penn
Johnson is the third player since late July whom McKay has
booted off the team.
McKay said he doesn't have a one-strike, you're-out policy.
"You deal with each situation individually," he said.