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TENNESSEE SUSPENDS LAST SEASON'S LEADING RUSHER

LaMarcus Coker, Tennessee's leading rusher last season, was suspended indefinitely, coach Phillip Fulmer said Tuesday. Details were not disclosed.

"LaMarcus is a good person and has been diligent working with a medical situation," Fulmer said. "We've worked with him through it, but that doesn't excuse where we are at this point."

As a freshman, Coker rushed for 696 yards despite missing two games with an injured knee. He also was suspended for several practices in December for undisclosed reasons.

PITT: Freshman quarterback Pat Bostick, among the nation's top 50 recruits, according to Super Prep, and a likely challenger for the starting job, left campus for a "personal issue." Details were not disclosed, and the team said his return date is unknown.

STABBED PUNTER: The defense rested in the trial of Mitch Cozad, a former Northern Colorado backup punter accused of trying to kill the starter. Jury deliberations will begin today.

Men's basketball

INDIANAPOLIS - Ball State is investigating allegations by ex-coach Ronny Thompson that he worked in a hostile racial environment.

Thompson, son of ex-Georgetown coach John Thompson, went 9-22 in his only season before resigning last month amid accusations that he and his assistants broke NCAA rules. He said notes with racial slurs and references to "cheaters" and "liars" were slipped under his office door a few weeks before resigning.

Also Tuesday, IUPUI coach Ron Hunter, who also is black, pulled out of consideration to replace Thompson. He said he was aware of Thompson's allegations but cited the NCAA problems for pulling out.

USF assistant Dan Hipsher remains a candidate, Bulls coach Stan Heath said, but no interview has taken place.

MAUI INVITATIONAL: Duke will face Princeton in the first round of the tournament in Hawaii that begins Nov. 19. Other matchups: Arizona State and Illinois; LSU and Oklahoma State; and Marquette and host Chaminade.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

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