Duke linebacker dismissed, defensive back suspended

February, 5, 2009
2/05/09
3:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Duke freshman linebacker Trent Mackey has been dismissed from the program for "violation of team standards," and freshman cornerback Randez James has been suspended from the team and will miss spring practice, the school announced Thursday.

Mackey played in 11 games in 2008 and made 10 total tackles. He is no longer enrolled at Duke.

James didn't play last year. His status as a member of the program will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester.

What I read in the release is all I know about this situation, but clearly coach David Cutcliffe doesn't mess around when it comes to discipline. Mackey would have entered spring practice as a top candidate to fill one of the two linebacker spots left by Michael Tauiliili and Marcus Jones. The staff will probably consider the possibility of moving Vincent Rey to middle linebacker to replace Tauiliili. Not that you can easily replace the ACC's leading tackler, but Mackey certainly would have been in the mix there this spring.

The loss of James this spring will hurt the depth more than anything else.

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