Monday, May 27, 2024

Another Spartan suspended

Defensive end will not dress for rivalry game

November 1, 2002

MSU Sports Information announced late Thursday that junior defensive end Greg Taplin is suspended for Saturday’s game against Michigan.

Spartan head coach Bobby Williams didn’t address the media or release a statement regarding the suspension. No reason was given for Taplin’s suspension, which came exactly one week after the indefinite suspension of junior quarterback Jeff Smoker.

Williams had insisted that no more suspensions were coming.

“It’s not related,” MSU Trustee Joel Ferguson said. “It’s just violating a training rule. It’s not important.”

Despite the second suspension in a little more than a week and the struggles of the Spartans (3-5 overall, 1-3 Big Ten), Ferguson said he believes Williams is handling the issues properly.

“The coach is in charge of the team. He’s got control,” he said. “This program will be turned around by him.”

Taplin had been playing on a limited basis the past two weeks because of injuries. Through eight games, he’s recorded 27 tackles and one sack.

The 6-foot-5, 256-pounder will most likely be replaced by sophomore Darrell Hamilton, who is second on the depth chart. But sophomore defensive tackle Matthias Askew has also seen time at defensive end this season.

Both can be expected to see time at the position, but the starter won’t be announced until Saturday morning.

MSU will travel to Ann Arbor for Saturday’s showdown at Michigan Stadium with two of its season opening starters suspended. The game is the 95th meeting between the intrastate rivals.

Eric McKinney can be reached at mckinn54@msu.edu.

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