Vanderbilt suspends four football players

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt has suspended four football players for a violation of team rules while Nashville police investigate whether a sex crime occurred in a campus dormitory.

The school’s public affairs department announced the suspensions Friday in a three-sentence release that didn’t discuss the nature of the rule violations. Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said the suspensions are related to the police investigation.

Aaron said the department’s sex crimes unit began investigating Wednesday after Vanderbilt police notified them about “a matter that is alleged to have occurred at a Vanderbilt University dormitory.”

“This is an open and very much active investigation,” Aaron said.

The release issued by Vanderbilt’s public affairs department said that “because of Vanderbilt’s ongoing investigation, the university will offer further comment when appropriate.”

Vanderbilt went 9-4 and beat N.C. State in the Music City Bowl last year for its best season since 1915.

Florida LB avoids prosecution

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison, who was accused of punching a bouncer, will likely not be prosecuted.

The State Attorney’s Office in Alachua County filed a deferred prosecution form Thursday. That means Morrison won’t be prosecuted for the battery charge as long as he stays out of trouble for six months.

Gainesville police said witnesses identified Morrison as the man who argued with a bouncer outside Kava Lounge early earlier this month regarding a cover charge.

When the bouncer told Morrison he would have to pay full price, witnesses said Morrison punched the bouncer in the head.

Police said the bouncer and a witness identified Morrison from the school’s website. Officers said Morrison told them he got into a “scuffle,” but added “it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Arkansas State to play Miami

JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State signed an agreement to play at Miami in football in 2014, and Miami is to play at Jonesboro in 2017.

ASU Athletic Director Terry Mohajir said Friday the date for the 2014 contest hasn’t been set, but it will be in August or September at Sun Life Stadium.

The game in Jonesboro will be Sept. 9, 2017.

Mohajir said Arkansas State’s ability to bring a team with Miami’s “brand” to Jonesboro indicates that the Red Wolves’ own image is on the rise.

ASU has been working to schedule high-profile opponents outside of the Sun Belt Conference.

Earlier this week, Mohajir announced a 2015 game at Southern California. The Red Wolves host Missouri the same season.

Nebraska boots two players

OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska freshman defensive end Ernest Suttles has been kicked off the team after being ticketed for misdemeanor assault for allegedly striking linebacker David Santos in the head with a bottle at a party last week.

Coach Bo Pelini announced the dismissals of Suttles and linebacker Thomas Brown on Thursday night.

Pelini did not give a reason in a statement released by the athletic department.

Lincoln Police Capt. Danny Reitan said there was no record of Brown being connected to the alleged assault.

Suttles, from Tampa., Fla., was a highly regarded recruit.

Pelini had said in February that Suttles had a chance to be an immediate contributor.

Reitan said a fight broke out during a party at a residence last Friday and that Suttles struck Santos in the forehead with a bottle. Reitan said it wasn’t known whether Santos required medical treatment. Suttles was ticketed Wednesday.

The university’s athletic department said in a statement it was “aware of an incident involving student-athletes which occurred off campus over the weekend.” The athletic department said it was working with the university’s Dean of Students to gather details.

Suttles starred at Gaither High School in Tampa, with 31 of his 88 tackles for loss. He was ranked among the top 100 high school players in Florida and chose the Huskers over Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and West Virginia.

Brown, from Gardena, Calif., was to be a redshirt freshman this season. He was expected to contend for playing time at linebacker and was ranked among the top 75 prospects in California in 2012.