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Ole Miss All-SEC LB suspended for opener

The SportsXchange

Ole Miss suspended All-SEC linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche for its Aug. 28 season opener against Boise State in the wake of a series of off-season player arrests that tarnished the image of the program.

Nkemdiche also will not practice this spring after his February arrest on charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

Teammate Serdarius Bryant, who was charged with public drunkenness and disturbing the peace last month, was with the Rebels for the start of practice on Tuesday but still could be suspended for a game. He led the team with 78 tackles last season and was second-team All-SEC.

"We feel like we failed with them in some way," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "I take it very personal. But ... we will hold their feet to the fire and we're not afraid to make a tough decision. No one is more important than this team. The team comes first.

"(Bryant) is very aware of exactly what he has to do. He's giving up his spring break to go do some mission work. That's part of it. He's got some community service, he's got some counseling. ... I hope (Nkemdiche) can really learn from mistakes that have been made and get back to being who he can be. He's a good kid."

Two other players were involved in off-the-field incidents. Cornerback Bobby Hill was charged with sexual battery and left school. Defensive end Channing Ward pleaded guilty to DUI charges but has yet to receive any disciplinary action from the football program.

"There is a lot more to that story," Freeze said, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. "I would hope he would be cleared."
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