"After visiting with Demetruce, I made the decision to dismiss him from our team," Malzahn said in a statement released by the school. "We have high expectations both on and off the field for our players."
Auburn Police Capt. Tom Stofer said police arrested McNeal along with Jawara White and Jonathan Evans, who were linebackers for the Tigers last season. Like McNeal, the pair was charged with possession of marijuana second degree.
The arrests were made at 1:02 a.m. at a residence in the 100 block of East University Drive. The residence is located off of the Auburn University campus, Stofer said.
Stofer said he didn't know what led to the arrests.
"We must have gotten a complaint out there or something," he said.
The men were booked into the Lee County Detention Center. According to online records, McNeal posted a $500 bond following the arrest and was then released.
Malzahn said McNeal was not at the Tigers' practice on Saturday.
McNeal was Auburn's leading returning tackler, collecting 90 stops last season. He returned to practice earlier this week after sitting out the first 11 sessions of the preseason following an infection that required minor surgery. He also missed the final five practices of the spring for undisclosed reasons.
Ryan Black covers Auburn for The Anniston Star and the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. He can be reached at email@example.com. The Ledger-Enquirer's Ben Wright contributed to this report.