Nutt suspends Mitchell for game against Kentucky

Updated: September 17, 2007, 6:05 PM ET
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell has been suspended by coach Houston Nutt for Saturday night's game against No. 21 Kentucky.

Mitchell was ejected from last weekend's loss at Alabama after apparently grabbing an opponent's helmet and hitting him with it. Nutt said he spoke with Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive on Monday.

"I visited with commissioner Slive this morning and told him that while the NCAA policy only mandates the suspension of the player for a half in the following game, I felt that a full-game suspension was appropriate in this circumstance," Nutt said. "Ernest got caught up in the heat of the moment and made a poor decision. I'm extremely disappointed in his reaction to the situation. There is no excuse for that type of behavior."

Arkansas is trying to bounce back from a 41-38 loss to the Crimson Tide. Nutt mentioned Fred Bledsoe as a candidate to step into Mitchell's spot.

Mitchell is the second defensive lineman suspended by Nutt this season -- Marcus Harrison missed the season-opening win over Troy after being arrested shortly before that game on drug charges.

Arkansas is also shaking up its secondary after Alabama's John Parker Wilson threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns against it. Safety Michael Grant will move to Jerell Norton's cornerback spot.

"He's probably one of the fastest guys on our team, and we just think it'll help our defense," Nutt said of Grant. "We'll put him in a position to be able to make more plays instead of playing center field."

Kevin Woods appears set to replace Grant at safety.

Nutt said Marcus Monk, the school's career leader in touchdown catches, is unlikely to play this week. He's been out since preseason with a knee injury.

"He's getting closer," Nutt said. "Nobody knows the exact date. It would be a longshot for him to play this weekend. We're hoping next week or the week after."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press