Auburn QB T.J. Finley booked for ‘Attempt to Elude’ police: How traffic violation on a moped led to arrest

Sports

It’s been a roller coaster for Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley. Less than a week after announcing on Instagram he has an NIL fashion deal with Amazon, the transfer from LSU was taken into custody by Alabama police Thursday for an Attempt to Elude after not wearing a helmet on a moped. He was released by Thursday afternoon, according to al.com.

An Auburn Athletics spokesperson said they were “aware of the situation” but did not provide any additional details related to Finley’s arrest.

Auburn’s fall camp began Thursday and head coach Bryan Harsin met with the media.

The Sporting News explains what it all means and what might come next as a result of his run-in with police:

What is Attempt to Elude? How serious of an offense is it?

In Alabama, Attempt to Elude is essentially what it sounds like. In Finley’s case, because he tried to flee from the police from a traffic stop for not wearing a helmet, he is being charged with the Class A misdemeanor.

Attempt to Elude can rise to a Class C felony if it injures or kills a bystander, which wasn’t the case for Finley.

With Attempt to Elude as a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama, Finley could face up to a year in jail and/or a $6,000 fine.

How can Attempt to Elude exist with no other charges?

Attempt to Elude, of course, implies another crime. But according to al.com’s Tom Green, Finley was avoiding a traffic stop for not wearing a helmet.

A traffic stop, of course, isn’t a criminal charge. Hence Finley’s public record showing only an Attempt to Elude.

T.J. Finley and Amazon NIL deal: Is it in jeopardy?

Finley, the first college athlete to be sponsored by Amazon, was going to be sponsoring a line of sweatshirts, phone cases, and other merchandise, per WRBL. Amazon did not disclose the size of the endorsement.

With LSU in 2020, Finley completed 57 percent of his passes for 941 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions. His numbers improved with Auburn in 2021, as he threw six touchdowns and just one interception.

Amazon has not commented since Finley’s arrest.

Will T.J. Finley be suspended?

It is unknown what level of team discipline Finley may face as a result of his run-in with police. However, any punishment handed down by Auburn would likely be tied with the outcome of Finley’s legal proceedings.

Auburn went 6-7 last season with a 3-5 SEC record, tied with the LSU Tigers for last place in the SEC West. Finley is part of a cavalcade of potential Auburn starting quarterbacks, as he competes with fellow transfers Zach Calzada and Robby Ashford along with true freshman Holden Geriner. He started the final three games of the 2021 season after Bo Nix injured his ankle.

Auburn head coach Brian Harsin doesn’t seem concerned about the situation.

“He was here,” Harsin said during media availability Thursday, per Brian Stultz. “He’ll be here tonight, he’ll practice tomorrow. We’re aware of what’s going on.”

Auburn football schedule

Auburn opens its season with five straight games at home. The Tigers face Finley’s former squad in LSU on October 1.

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME

Sat, Sep 3

vs Mercer

4:00 PM

Sat, Sep 10

vs San José State

4:30 PM

Sat, Sep 17

vs Penn State

12:30 PM

Sat, Sep 24

vs Missouri

TBD

Sat, Oct 1

vs LSU

TBD

Sat, Oct 8

@ Georgia

TBD

Sat, Oct 15

@ Ole Miss

TBD

Sat, Oct 29

vs Arkansas

TBD

Sat, Nov 5

@ Mississippi State

TBD

Sat, Nov 12

vs Texas A&M

TBD

Sat, Nov 19

vs Western Kentucky

TBD

Sat, Nov 26

@ Alabama

TBD

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