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Tar Heels suspend standout lineman

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina coach Butch Davis suspended defensive tackle Marvin Austin indefinitely on Wednesday for violating unspecified team rules.

"This decision is not a result of the ongoing NCAA review," Davis said in a statement released by the school. "Marvin has violated team rules and has neglected his responsibilities to the team."

Austin, a senior, has been projected as a first-round pick. He will not play Saturday, when the No. 18 Tar Heels face No. 21 LSU in Atlanta.

The suspension marks the latest twist during a turbulent summer for North Carolina.

The NCAA made two trips to Chapel Hill to look into if Austin and receiver Greg Little received improper benefits from agents. Wednesday's announcement did not address Little's status. Both have worked with the second team and not spoken to reporters.

The investigation expanded last week to include possible academic misconduct with school officials saying it involved an unknown number of players and a woman who previously worked as a tutor for Davis' son. The school has declined to specify how many players could be involved or are in jeopardy of missing the LSU game.

BYU agrees to deals with ESPN, Irish

PROVO, Utah — A day after announcing it would be going independent, BYU announced an eight-year deal with ESPN to televise all of its home games on one of the network's channels.

In addition, BYU, which is leaving the Mountain West Conference, said it has agreed to a six-game deal with fellow independent Notre Dame. Details are still being worked out.

Athletic director Tom Holmoe said he is working on extending the school's series with archrival Utah, which is leaving the Mountain West for the Pac-10 after this season.

Missouri: Derrick Washington, a senior captain and the team's leading rusher the past two seasons, was dismissed from the team. The announcement came two days after he was charged with sexually assaulting a former tutor over the summer. Washington will remain on scholarship as long as he meets academic requirements.

Notre Dame: Backup tight end Mike Ragone has an inner ear infection, and his status for Saturday against Purdue is uncertain. Ragone was hospitalized for a day earlier this summer after a practice because of heat illness.

Penn St.: Robert Bolden will start at quarterback Saturday against Youngstown State. Bolden, who beat out sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin, will be the Nittany Lions' first freshman to start a season opener and the first to start any game since Wally Richardson in 1992.

South Carolina: Junior Stephen Garcia, a Jefferson High graduate, will start at quarterback tonight in the opener against Southern Miss. But coach Steve Spurrier said freshman Connor Shaw will see playing time early.

UTEP: Running back Donald Buckram was carted off the practice field after injuring his left knee during a noncontact drill. The school is awaiting the result of an MRI exam. Last season, Buckram was one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker award, given to the nation's top running back.

West Virginia: The school will wear special uniforms for its Nov. 26 Backyard Brawl against Pittsburgh to honor the 29 men killed in a mine explosion in Upper Big Branch, W. Va., in April. The jersey will be white but shaded to make it appear as if it's covered in a fine layer of coal dust, and the numbers will be smudged black.

Tar Heels suspend standout lineman 09/01/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:32pm]

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