Dyer Suspended; Long-Term Status Uncertain

As the Auburn football Tigers return to the practice field for bowl preparations, Michael Dyer will not participate.

Auburn, Ala.--When the Auburn football team begins on-the-field preparations for the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday evening the Tigers will be doing it without running back Michael Dyer, according to team sources who have told Inside the Auburn Tigers that the sophomore has been "indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules."

On Thursday afternoon Coach Gene Chizik was asked if there were any players who would not be available for the bowl game. "There's none that I'm aware of right now," he said. However, that has changed and Dyer has returned home to Little Rock, Ark., after finishing fall semester final exams that ended on Saturday. It is not known when, or if, Dyer will rejoin the team.

Following a two-week break from practice, the Tigers are scheduled to return to practice at 5 p.m. on Monday to begin preparations for the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Auburn, 7-5, will play 8-4 Virginia at the Georgia Dome.

Dyer is Auburn's leading rusher this season as a sophomore with 1,241 yards and 10 touchdowns at 5.1 yards per rush.

Dyer was the leading rusher in Arkansas high school history at Little Rock Christian Academy.

As an All-SEC Freshman the running back from Little Rock, Ark., rushed for 1,093 yards and five touchdowns. He was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player in the BCS Championship Game.

Junior running back Onterio McCalebb, who was selected as a second team All-SEC all-purpose back by the league's coaches, has rushed for 532 yards at 5.2 per carry this season. He is the team's No. 2 leading rusher.

McCalebb has rushed for four touchdowns and added one on a reception. He also has one score on a touchdown kickoff return vs. Alabama. For this career McCalebb he rushed for 1,907 yards, which is the 17th highest total in AU history.

McCalebb and Emory Blake are tied for the most receptions on the team with 30. McCalebb has averaged 9.1 yards per catch.

Freshman Tre Mason is the third-leading rusher among the Tiger tailbacks with 97 yards on 19 carries.

The Tigers are expected to practice Monday through Saturday this week before taking Sunday off. The following week the Tigers will practice Monday through Friday before taking a break for the Christmas holiday.

The players are scheduled to get to Atlanta on their own for the bowl game on the night of the 25th and resume practice the following day.

The bowl game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central time on Dec. 31st. It will be just the third time Auburn and Virginia have played in football. Each team has one victory in the series.


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