Three NDSU football players suspended indefinitely, while one is kicked off the team
FARGO - North Dakota State suspended three players from the football team indefinitely and kicked another one off in one sweeping move Friday.
Head coach Craig Bohl said wide receiver Shamen Washington, quarterback Jose Mohler and defensive end Garrett Johnson need to think about things other than football. All three were arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
"They need to get their personal lives together," Bohl said in a news release. "Playing football is a privilege, not a right, and the players need to realize they are held to a higher standard."
Bohl said quarterback Troy Jackson was dismissed for off-the-field issues that were unrelated to his possession of marijuana charge in February. He finished last year as the No. 3 quarterback and wasn't expected to be in the mix for the starting job this spring.
Mohler, however, was slated to challenge Nick Mertens. The redshirt freshman has two minor in possession charges on his record in addition to the DUI.
"This type of behavior is not tolerated, never has been and never will be," Bohl said. "It goes against who we are as a football program."
He said the three suspended players will be required to perform community service, which the university said is above and beyond what the legal system may require. A first-time DUI charge is typically a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine, a chemical evaluation and suspended jail sentence.
It's possible the legal and university disciplinary outcomes could lead to a permanent dismissal from the team, Bohl said.
Bohl said he is working with NDSU alcohol and drug programs and the school's counseling center on a "long-term drug and alcohol prevention strategy."
NDSU resumes spring practice today with Mertens as the only experienced quarterback. Sophomore Andrew Fabry was the scout team quarterback last year but is limited this spring because of a shoulder injury.
Jackson was signed from Los Angeles Valley College last summer to bolster the depth at the position. He played sparingly and completed 3 of 6 passes for 24 yards.
School President Joe Chapman said he was "very concerned" about the latest string of law run-ins by football players, but he also said he was confident the athletic department in conjunction with Nona Wood, the director of NDSU's office of student rights and responsibilities, which handles disciplinary matters for all students, would handle it.
"My belief is that the athletic department working with Nona will deal with this," Chapman said.