- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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When Scooter Berry reflects on the 2009 season, he might just want to forget most of it.
The West Virginia junior defensive tackle missed time early this season with a shoulder injury. Then in October, he was suspended by coach Bill Stewart after being arrested outside a night club for disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Berry worked his way back onto the field, but he won't play in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. West Virginia announced today that Berry, along with starting safety Nate Sowers, is ineligible for the game against Florida State.
The school didn't provide further details, but Berry said this on his Twitter page:
"I was ruled inel yesterday by the University, GPA is good but since I didn't pass more than2 classes in my major I'm not allowed to play."
Berry was a second-team All-Big East performer last year but ended up appearing in only eight games this season, recording 15 tackles and a sack. In his absence, the Mountaineers will likely have to rely on sophomore Josh Taylor to step forward. Taylor has 20 tackles, two sacks and an interception on the year.
The loss of Berry thins a defensive line that already lacked much experienced depth. And the secondary will have to do some shuffling without Sowers, who has 43 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss in 12 games this season. Franchot "Boogie" Allen or Eain Smith could take Sowers' starting spot.
Since Sowers is a senior, his college career is over. Berry has another year of eligibility, and he must hope that next season is far better than this one.