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Published: Monday, 12/17/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

3 UM players to miss Outback Bowl

Floyd, Hawthorne, Hagerup punished for team violations

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Michigan cornerback J.T. Floyd, right, has been suspended along with linebacker Brandin Hawthorne and punter Will Hagerup for the Outback Bowl for a violation of team rules. Michigan cornerback J.T. Floyd, right, has been suspended along with linebacker Brandin Hawthorne and punter Will Hagerup for the Outback Bowl for a violation of team rules.
BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge

Three members of the Michigan football team will not be traveling with the Wolverines when they face South Carolina on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl.

Michigan announced Sunday that cornerback J.T. Floyd, linebacker Brandin Hawthorne, and punter Will Hagerup have been suspended for the bowl game for a violation of team rules.

"It is an honor to play football for the University of Michigan, and we have high standards and expectations for everyone that represents our program," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement released Sunday. "These young men used poor judgment in each circumstance, and these suspensions are teaching moments for our team."

Floyd and Hagerup are the two notable suspensions, as both have played pivotal roles for the Wolverines this season. Floyd, a redshirt senior, started all 12 games at cornerback for the Wolverines and had 48 tackles (28 solo). In his third year as a starter, Floyd led the team with five pass breakups this season as part of the No. 2 pass defense in the country and was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection.

Hoke said Friday that Dennis Norfleet will move from running back to cornerback and could play Jan. 1 against the Gamecocks.

Hagerup earned All-Big Ten Punter of the Year honors earlier this month and the junior averaged 45 yards a punt (33 punts for 1,486 yards) this season for the Wolverines.

Hagerup, however, has a history of disciplinary issues. Hagerup sat out the 2010 Ohio State-Michigan game in Columbus and was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season. Both instances — one under former Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez and the other under Hoke — were for a violation of team rules.

Sophomore Matt Wile is expected to take over the punting duties for Hagerup against the Gamecocks.

Hawthorne, a senior, played in 12 games this season, primarily on special teams, and had 19 tackles.

The suspensions of Floyd and Hawthorne effectively end their four years at UM.

Three players have left the Wolverines since the end of the regular season and while Hoke said Friday that he anticipated bringing all of his players to Florida for the bowl game, Sunday’s announcement of the suspensions means that six players will not accompany the Wolverines to Tampa.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier announced Saturday in Columbia, S.C. that senior receiver D.L. Moore and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kyle Harris have been suspended for the Outback Bowl, also because of a violation of team rules.

Moore played in 12 games for South Carolina (10-2) with five starts, and had eight catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Harris played in four games , and Spurrier told reporters that Harris plans to transfer after the season.

Spurrier said while the Gamecocks had what he called a “helter-skelter type of practice” Saturday with a partial slate of players, his team’s full preparations for the Outback Bowl began Sunday.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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