Arkansas suspends 2 defensive starters for flirting with Mississippi State dance team

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Arkansas defensive back Ryan Pulley (11) is suspended for Friday’s game against Missouri. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Arkansas defensive back Ryan Pulley (11) is suspended for Friday’s game against Missouri. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Arkansas will be without two defensive starters in Friday’s season finale at Missouri.

Razorbacks head coach Chad Morris announced Monday that defensive backs Ryan Pulley and Kamren Curl have been suspended by the program for “unacceptable behavior.”

The behavior Morris is referring to isn’t the detrimental conduct or violation of team rules you usually see from college football programs. Instead, Pulley and Curl caught the ire of their coach because they were apparently spotted flirting with members of Mississippi State’s dance team before Saturday’s game — a game Arkansas lost 52-6.

“Starting yesterday, I suspended Ryan Pulley and Kamren Curl. They will not be here today or yesterday or any part of this week for unacceptable behavior, actions that are completely unacceptable to what we’re about,” Morris said at his Monday press conference.

‘Completely unacceptable’

Toward the end of Morris’ postgame presser on Saturday, he was asked by former Arkansas all-SEC tight end D.J. Williams (who now works for a local TV station) about two of his players coming back out from the locker room and onto the field to try to “exchange information with the opposing team’s cheerleaders.”

To that, Morris offered a similar refrain.

“It’s completely unacceptable in all areas of this program,” he said.

Defensive coordinator John Chavis said Monday that he was “very disappointed” in Pulley and Curl.

“Very disappointed. They understand that,” Chavis said. “It’s about perception. Here we are fighting to develop the kind of culture where you’re going to have a winning attitude by every guy that walks on that field. I’m not questioning their character, but the perception was not very good. It had to be addressed and our head coach has handled that. I’m with him 100 percent.”

It has been a rough year for Arkansas

The loss to Mississippi State dropped the Razorbacks to 2-9 on the season, Morris’ first as head coach, without a single win in SEC play. Arkansas will conclude its season on the road against Missouri on Friday.

Missouri’s offense is led by Drew Lock, one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. Without Pulley and Curl, who have started nine and 11 games, respectively, the Arkansas defense could be in for a really long day.

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