Senior captain Max Bullough, the team's leading tackler, was suspended by Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio for the Rose Bowl.
"Max Bullough has been suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules," coach Dantonio said in a statement issued after midnight Thursday upon landing in Los Angeles.
No specifics were available on the cause of the suspension and Dantonio said "no further comment" would be made on the issue. Bullough, a two-time team captain, calls the defensive signals and has been dubbed the quarterback of the defense by coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who took it a step further.
"He is a computer on the field," Narduzzi said earlier this month.
Narduzzi said there are days when Bullough will be the one correcting the coaches, not vice versa.
An announcement on adjustments in the defense could come Thursday, when the Spartans are scheduled to have Dantonio and five players -- including Bullough -- available to media at DisneyLand. Bullough is unlikely to attend.
Michigan State, the No. 1 defense in the nation, has 41 wins in Bullough's career.