Source: Tennessee suspends RB Coker for violating policy

Updated: August 8, 2007, 11:17 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee running back LaMarcus Coker, the team's leading rusher last season, has been suspended indefinitely for violating the school's substance abuse policy, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad.

Coach Phillip Fulmer did not specify what Coker had done when he announced the penalty Tuesday.

"He must fulfill some obligations to the program and to me before he can return," Fulmer read from a prepared statement after practice. "I have tried, as has the administration, to work with him, but at this time he must help himself."

If Coker will be eligible for the season opener at California has not yet been determined. Tennessee will now rely on steady junior running back Arian Foster, who topped 100 yards in each of the last five games of the 2005 season as a redshirt freshman.

Coker, a sophomore, led the Vols with 696 rushing yards his freshman year, even though he was sidelined for two games by an injured knee. He was competing for time with junior Arian Foster and sophomore Montario Hardesty.

Coker, who had a pair of touchdown runs for more than 80 yards each last season, was suspended for several practices last December for undisclosed reasons.

ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press contributed to this report.