Wingate suspended

The disciplinary issues in the University of Tennessee athletics department aren't confined to the football program.

Less than a week after senior linebacker Marvin Mitchell was suspended from the Vol football team and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Raymond Henderson was dismissed for separate incidents, senior basketball player Major Wingate has been suspended from the basketball team.

Head coach Bruce Pearl did not specify the nature of Wingate's transgression except to say it was a violation of team rules and university policy. The coach said the 6-foot-10, 250-pound post player will be disciplined internally over the next few months. Part of his penance will involve community service work with the Boys & Girls Clubs. Wingate's suspension is not expected to affect his availability for any games during the 2006-07 season.

"Major has done so many wonderful things this year, on and off the court, it pains me to have to do this,'' Pearl told The Knoxville News-Sentinel. "But at the same time, there's a culture that has been allowed to exist that can't be tolerated.''

Wingate averaged 10.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game during the 2005-06 season, helping the Vols win 22 games and the SEC East title. He and JaJuan Smith shared the Most Improved Player award presented at last Friday night's UT Awards Banquet.

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