Indiana suspended nine players for Saturday's football opener against Southern Illinois, a decision that was announced just minutes before the 4 p.m. kickoff. Among those suspended were standout defensive players Tegray Scales and Darius Latham.
Six of the nine players suspended came from the defensive side, including two starters and four regulars. Indiana, already without star Antonio Allen following his dismissal from the program this offseason, is extremely thin on defense in its season opener.
Indiana's defense struggled mightily against Southern Illinois, allowing a ridiculous 659 yards in a 48-47 win. Quarterback Mark Iannotti, who rushed for 134 total yards in 12 games last season, had 106 rushing yards against the Hoosiers on Saturday. Iannotti also threw for 411 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson declined to say specifically why the players were suspended when asked about the issue after the game.
"If guys don't wanna do things properly, we handle it," Wilson said. "And we've handled it. We've dealt with it and we're good with it."
Wilson was non-committal when asked if all nine suspended players would play against Florida International next week.
"Yeah, we'll see," he said. "We could have something between now and then. Someone in college football is doing something stupid tonight, I guarantee it. I hope it's not here in 47408. That's the world we live in. Eighty percent of Americans, 80 percent of college students, 80 percent of college athletes drink. So we talk to our guys about lifestyle and how you might have to give up some things if you want to be a great team, to recover. We'll see. I promise you we'll put 11 guys out there that are gonna play hard and are not gonna give up."