Starting quarterback Jay Cutler and punt returner Grant Brigham have been suspended indefinitely from Vanderbilt's football team for unspecified violation of team rules, Coach Bobby Johnson announced Monday.
Johnson refused to comment on the nature of the violation, except to say that it involved something that happened over the weekend. "We have team policies," Johnson said Monday evening on his radio show, "and the players are expected to abide by them."
However, Johnson hinted that Cutler and Brigham could return at some point later in the season. Johnson said both players would definitely miss at least the MTSU game on Oct. 12, and that after that, "we'll go from there."
Johnson said that Benji Walker, a 6-4, 216-pound junior from Brentwood who has not yet started a game for the Commodores, would start against MTSU.
Johnson also said that as a backup quarterback the coaches would choose between scholarship freshman Steven Bright, whom they had hoped to redshirt this year, and Jason Burns, a freshman walk-on.
Cutler, a redshirt freshman from Santa Claus, Ind., had started all five games thus far for Vanderbilt. Through five games he had thrown for 720 yards and six touchdowns, and rushed for 205 yards and four touchdowns.
Brigham, a true freshman from Mountain Brook, Ala., had only been used sparingly at wide receiver, but had won a role as Vandy's primary punt returner after an injury sidelined Ronald Hatcher in the Furman game.
Cutler and Brigham become the third and fourth players to be suspended by Johnson for rules violation this season. Prior to the season Johnson suspended junior wide receiver Chris Young for the entire season, and dismissed freshman linebacker Luke Hammond from the team permanently.