Ole Miss RB McClendon benched due to possible violation

Updated: October 30, 2003, 7:59 PM ET

OXFORD, Mississippi - Mississippi running back Ronald McClendon, the team's second-leading rusher, will not play Saturday against South Carolina due to a possible rules violation, the school announced Thursday.

Rebels coach David Cutcliffe said McClendon, who has rushed for 331 yards and a touchdown on 55 carries, will be kept out as a precautionary measure.

"We are withholding Ronald from further competition until the matter can be resolved," said Cutcliffe, who did not reveal the nature of the possible violation.

The surprising Rebels are in contention for their first Southeastern Conference championship since 1963. They are the only SEC team without a loss in conference play and have a one-half game lead over Louisiana State in the West Division.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index