Sources: Ga. players violate drug policy
ATHENS, Ga. -- Two Georgia football players have been suspended for violating the school's substance abuse policy, and another player who also violated team rules is being medically disqualified because of a lingering ankle injury, according to sources close to the situation.
Junior tight end Bruce Figgins will miss the Bulldogs' first six games this season after failing a drug test for a second time, sources told ESPN.com. Figgins, from Columbus, Ga., was suspended from playing in the Bulldogs' 2008 season opener against Football Championship Subdivision opponent Georgia Southern.
Sophomore defensive end Justin Houston, a projected starter on Georgia's defense, will miss the Bulldogs' first two games. Junior wide receiver Tony Wilson also faced discipline, but he is leaving the team because of an ankle injury suffered during spring practice.
Georgia coach Mark Richt confirmed the suspensions in a statement released by the school Saturday, but said the discipline was the result of an undisclosed violation of team rules.
"I'm very disappointed in the poor judgment of these players," Richt said in the news release. "They'll have to pay an appropriate price and I'm confident they will learn an important lesson from their mistake."
Houston's absence figures to have the most on-field impact. He emerged as Georgia's most consistent pass rusher during spring practice, after finishing the 2008 season with 19 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss, 2 1/2 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries.
The Bulldogs open the season at Oklahoma State on Sept. 5 and play South Carolina in their SEC opener at Sanford Stadium on Sept. 12.
Mark Schlabach is a senior writer for ESPN.com.