Tyler suspended for opener, possibly longer

Marc Tyler's disastrous 2011 continues with suspension from all team activities, opener against Minnesota.

USC running back Marc Tyler has been suspended for the season opener against Minnesota and "potentially further" by head coach Lane Kiffin, the latest in a series of incidents for the senior.

TMZ posted video last Friday of a seemingly intoxicated Tyler leaving a Hollywood club joking about Trojan players being paid. The comments came as Tyler is awaiting possible punishment for a pair of alcohol-related incidents earlier this spring and USC prepares to serve the second year of a two-year bowl ban resulting from former Trojan running back Reggie Bush's acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and other impermissible benefits.

Those remarks led Kiffin, after meeting with athletic director Pat Haden, to suspend Tyler from all team activities.

"Although Marc may find this punishment severe, it is imperative we continue to have a high standard for player behavior," Kiffin said in a statement. "Marc needs to work hard to show us that he can meet the standards of being a USC football player."

Tyler apologized to his teammates, coaches and the university and said he would do everything possible to be reinstated.

"After meeting today with Mr. Haden and Coach Kiffin, I realize how my behavior and my statements, even though I was joking, can reflect poorly on so many people," Tyler said. "As a veteran player, I should know that my job is to be an example for the younger guys. I accept my punishment and I regret that I will miss the opening game of my senior year."

2011 has been nothing short of disastrous for Tyler, who rose to national prominence at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.

Already this year Tyler pulled a hamstring on the first day of spring practice, criticized coaches for a lack of stretching that he said led to the injury, suffered a concussion later in camp and was accused of groping one female student and punching another, charges that have put him in front of the Office of Student Affairs, which could result in a suspension or expulsion from the university.

It's a far cry from last year, when Tyler broke out with 913 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, both team-highs, while starting eight games.

On the end-of-spring depth chart, Tyler was listed as co-starter along with redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan, sophomore Dillon Baxter and junior Curtis McNeal.

Tyler's suspension leaves incoming freshman Buck Allen as the only running back over 200 pounds on the roster. It could also open up playing time for another incoming freshman, Amir Carlisle, who has impressed teammates with his speed and versatility during voluntary summer workouts.

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