ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico forward Carlton Bragg Jr. has been dismissed from the Lobos basketball team following his arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
Coach Paul Weir released a statement late Sunday, hours after Bragg’s arrest, saying the embattled player needed to focus on his personal well-being.
“The game of life is much more important than basketball right now,” Weir said. “I still believe in him and hope this next step will allow him to develop into a strong, responsible young adult while also completing his degree here at UNM.”
The arrest came nine days after Bragg, 24, was reinstated to the team following a three-game suspension while university officials investigated sexual misconduct allegations against him by another student. Bragg has not been charged in connection with that incident, which occurred in August, although the Bernalillo County district attorney’s office sent the case to the district attorney’s office in Alamogordo because of a conflict of interest.
Bragg, who was averaging 12.6 points and 10.3 rebounds in 15 games in his second season at New Mexico (15-3), was released from custody later Sunday.
He was detained around 1:20 a.m. in Albuquerque at a sobriety checkpoint, according to a police report.
Officers saw that Bragg “had bloodshot watery eyes and an odor of alcohol emanating from his facial area,” the report said. “Carlton admitted drinking 2 glasses of wine between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.” The Lobos had beaten Air Force only hours earlier.
Bragg was put through field sobriety testing and “signs of impairment were present during his performance of the sobriety tests,” after which he was arrested and a small amount of marijuana was discovered on his body, the report said.
Bragg later refused to take a breath-alcohol test, police said.
It was not known if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
New Mexico is Bragg’s third school. He played at Kansas, where he was suspended after being arrested and charged with battery against a woman in 2016, although that charge was dropped and the woman who made the claims was later charged after prosecutors reviewed surveillance video.
He also attended Arizona State but was removed from the team in his first semester for violating an unspecified team rule.
Bragg had 11 points and seven rebounds Saturday night in the Lobos’ 84-78 victory.