Saturday, December 5, 2009
Suspended Spartans won't go bowling
The bad news continues for Michigan State, which will be without eight suspended players for its upcoming bowl game.
Head coach Mark Dantonio told reporters today that the eight players won't be traveling or playing in a bowl, and neither will any other players identified by police as being present during a Nov. 22 fight at a residence hall. Dantonio already has dismissed running back Glenn Winston and safety Roderick Jenrette.
The group of suspended players includes starting wide receivers Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham, starting cornerback Chris L. Rucker and running back Ashton Leggett, who has played more down the stretch. Police have found 10 suspects in the incident, and are trying to identify five more.
"The opportunity to play on this football team and in a bowl game is a privilege, and not a given right," Dantonio said. "With that said, all those present at the incident in question will remain on indefinite suspension and will not make the trip nor play in the bowl game."
Michigan State could be going to either the Valero Alamo Bowl or the Insight Bowl if the Big Ten sends two teams to BCS bowls, as many project. Alamo Bowl CEO Derrick Fox told ESPN.com this week that the ongoing investigation into the fight at Michigan State could impact the selection.
"It's something you certainly factor in," Fox said. "It's really just a matter of trying to find out, 'Is 10 [players] the max? Will 10 actually become six? Will some get reinstated, or will this become 40?' Because then, obviously, it can make an impact on the overall thing."