ASU suspends DE Junior Onyeali

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
10:05
AM ET
It's been a tough year for Arizona State, and it's not getting easier as the Sun Devils prepare for the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday.

Coach Dennis Erickson, who is coaching his final game after being fired on Nov. 28, has suspended sophomore defensive end Junior Onyeali from the bowl game against Boise State, the Arizona Republic reported.

The newspaper, citing sources, said Onyeali and Erickson had "a heated exchange at Monday's practice." Onyeali did not travel with his teammates to Las Vegas.

Onyeali, not unlike Erickson, hasn't had a great year. The 2010 Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year, missed four games with a knee injury this season and didn't look like his old high-motor self when he returned. He finishes the season with just 11 tackles and a sack.

Davon Coleman, who had 41 tackles this year, likely will start in Onyeali's place.

LB Vontaze Burfict's status is also uncertain. While Erickson has denied that Burfict refused to re-enter the season-finale against California after getting benched, he's been practicing with the second-team defense.

More bad news: the Republic also reported the Sun Devils "may be without junior receiver/returner Jamal Miles, who was not at Sunday's practice. His status is unknown."

Miles is a multipurpose threat as a runner and receiver, but scored three TDs returning punts and kicks this year.

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