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Arrest led to Johnson's ouster from Lobos roster

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
officer.

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's return.

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
State.

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.