Missouri basketball forwards Jakeenan Gant and Russell Woods were suspended from the basketball team on Friday as both players received citations for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both players have already been suspended for the team’s next contest on Saturday at Alabama. Gant, a sophomore, and Woods, a junior, will have their status with the program reevaluated next week, according to the Missouri athletic department.
Detectives from the Columbia Police Department constructed a search warrant on January 15th at the residence that Gant and Woods share with two other men. On December 9th in Columbia, the warrant was issued in connection with an armed home invasion robbery.
According to reports, neither Gant nor Woods was the target of the robbery. However, detectives uncovered two marijuana smoking devices in the bedroom of Gant. They also found two more in Woods’ bedroom during the investigation. Gant and woods turned themselves in to Columbia Police on Thursday and were released on a signature summons. Under Missouri statues, possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor.
A statement was released on Friday afternoon by the MU athletic department. “Student-athletes Jakeenan Gant and Russell Woods were notified earlier today they have been suspended for tomorrow’s game at Alabama, per athletic department policy. Their status with the program will be reevaluated next week.”
One of the robbery suspects, Koran Ward, 19, was arrested by Columbia Police and lives with Gant, Woods, and another man. Items stolen in the December 9th robbery were uncovered in the search and Ward was arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery and unlawful use of a weapon. Ward’s bond was set at $54,500 according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. Detectives also uncovered drug paraphernalia or marijuana in the other two residents’ bedrooms.
On the season, Gant is averaging 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds for Mizzou, which ranks seventh and fourth on the team, respectively. Woods is averaging 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in his first season at Mizzou after transferring from John A. Logan College.
In September of last year, Gant was suspended briefly along with D’Angelo Allen after the two were charged with a peace disturbance, resulting from an incident in downtown Columbia. Gant also missed the first nine games of his collegiate career during his freshmen season because of an investigation into his eligibility.
Gant was also a participant in a summer internship program in Georgia (his native state) at T3 Technologies in 2014 where he was paid for work not performed, which is an illegal benefit under NCAA rules. Three other former Mizzou student-athletes – Jordan Clarkson, Tony Criswell and Cam Biedscheid – also participated in the internship program during the previous summer. All of this resulted in allegations that led to the basketball program’s self-imposed sanctions, including a postseason band for this year.