Four DBs Suspended for Opener

Four DBs Suspended for Opener

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – UNC head coach Larry Fedora announced starting cornerbacks Des Lawrence and Brian Walker and backup defensive backs Donnie Miles and M.J. Stewart have been suspended for one game for a violation of team policies.

The suspensions come in the wake of a Yahoo Sports report surrounding a training camp incident involving team members at the Aloft Hotel earlier this month.

Team spokesperson Kevin Best released a statement on Tuesday indicating that the university was “aware of an incident involving members of the UNC football team that took place earlier this month.”

Yahoo Sports reported that wide receiver Jackson Boyer, a redshirt freshman walk-on from Chapel Hill, had sustained a concussion during the altercation.

“We’re going to hold all of our guys accountable for everything they do on the field and off the field,” Fedora told reporters following practice on Wednesday. “And we also have very high expectations for guys in this program and they didn’t meet those expectations, so that’s why we’re having some disciplinary measures here. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Fedora offered no further details on the incident or the scope of the violation. The third-year UNC head coach said he does not anticipate any more players being suspended.

UNC’s Office of Student Affairs is handling the investigation and Fedora said he was not privy to whether or not the investigation was complete.

Lawrence and Walker, sophomores out of Charlotte, N.C., are UNC’s starters at cornerback. M.J. Stewart, a freshman out of Arlington, Va., is Lawrence’s backup at boundary corner. Their absences will likely vault junior Alex Dixon and sophomore Kedrick Davis into starting roles against Liberty on Saturday.

Miles, a redshirt freshman from Lawrenceville, Ga., is listed as Malik Simmons’s backup at ram.

Fedora acknowledged that losing starters for the opener would affect the team, but said it would provide an opportunity for other players to elevate their game in the face of adversity.

“I worry about every kind of thing that could be a distraction, but I know this, we’ve got a large amount of players on this football team that have worked their rear ends off for a long point to get to this point,” Fedora said. “So it would be a shame and a tragedy to let any kind of distraction to keep you from playing at your best. That’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Fedora said that he took action as soon as he learned of the issue early in training camp and that he issued the suspensions once he had enough info to make a decision.

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