Nutt Suspends Four

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt announced Thursday he has suspended four players for a violation of team rules.

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Seniors Brandon Bolden and Alex Washington, as well as junior A.J. Hawkins and sophomore Philander Moore, will miss the Rebels' upcoming game against No. 2 Alabama, which is scheduled for a 5 p.m. CT kickoff Saturday inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Nutt wouldn't elaborate on the suspensions after practice Thursday afternoon, only saying the suspensions are for one game and had nothing to do with any kind of substance abuse or criminal behavior.

Sources indicated the suspensions were academic related.

"I'm surprised," he said. "It happened (Wednesday) afternoon."

Bolden is the notable name of the group. A running back, he currently ranks second on the team in rushing with 105 yards and two touchdowns on the season, though he has been hobbled by an ankle injury suffered in the team's season-opening loss to BYU.

Bolden scored both of his touchdowns against Fresno State, a 38-28 win two weeks ago, and is within reach of a couple of Ole Miss touchdown records.

Brandon Bolden
Associated Press

After tying the single-season school record with 14 rushing touchdowns and 17 total scores last season, Bolden has 25 rushing and 30 total touchdowns for his career, and trails only Deuce McAllister's school records of 37 rushing and 41 total touchdowns.

Bolden ranks fifth in school history with 2,237 rushing yards, and finished fifth in the Southeastern Conference a year ago with 81.3 rushing yards per game. Bolden is sixth place in school history with 3,206 all-purpose yards.

Sophomore Jeff Scott, who leads Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2 SEC) in rushing with 350 yards, will start at running back Saturday.

Scott had a career-high 138 yards rushing on 24 attempts and two touchdowns against Fresno State. Senior Enrique Davis and junior Devin Thomas will be his backups.

Hawkins started all five games this season at center prior to the suspension. In his place will be sophomore Evan Swindall. Swindall earned the first start of his career against Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) last season, and was poised to start again vs. the Crimson Tide after two strong weeks of practices.

"We were going to start Evan Swindall anyway," Nutt said.

"He's got good energy. I like the way he practices," offensive line coach Mike Markuson said of Swindall Tuesday. "He brings a good level of intensity out here. He works hard. Feel great about him."

Patrick Junen opened the year as the starting left guard. However, he gave way to freshman Aaron Morris in the Rebels' loss to Georgia. Washington started in the win at Fresno State. Junen has been moved back to the first team.

For the year, Moore, a reserve wide receiver, has four receptions for two yards and two rushing attempts for minus-4 yards.

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