Georgia Southern suspended eight players for its opener against the Bulldogs, including two starters, for institutional violations, according to a release from the school.
Junior linebacker Terrione Benefield and junior defensive back Ronnie Wiggins, both projected as starters on the Eagles' preseason depth chart, will miss the Aug. 30 game against Georgia, along with three other players listed as second-teamers, including defensive end Damon Suggs, who started 10 games last season, and Raja Andrews, who caught 38 passes for 388 yards in 2007.
"To be a member of the Eagle Football program, student-athletes have specific rules to abide by," Georgia Southern head coach Chris Hatcher said. "When the institution's rules are not followed, then I will take immediate and appropriate action. I am disappointed to announce the suspensions concerning the respective student-athletes, but I expect all to learn from not doing right and make positive contributions to our program this season."
SNAP TO IT
"Right now it's still up for grabs," Richt said. "(Fowler) is No. 1 on the depth chart, but it's not a done deal."
Freshman Ty Frix was brought into camp at the last minute to replace Henson and has a done a good job of impressing coaches thus far. With a bit more development in the final two weeks of camp, Richt said there's a real possibility the walk-on freshman could win the job.
"Frix, he's snapping extremely well, and if he can get better at blocking and covering, he's going to make this a competition," Richt said.
FLAGS ON THE PLAY
The NCAA will ban horse-collar tackles for the upcoming season, following the lead of the NFL, which outlawed tackling from inside a player's shoulder pads or collar.
"We're getting some back injuries when the ball carrier is immediately snapped to the ground by being jerked quickly," Rogers Redding, the NCAA's coordinator of officials, said in a conference call Wednesday. "If the ball carrier is grabbed by the shoulder or jersey and just ridden to the ground over a couple of yards, that's not going to be a foul."