Missouri RB Derrick Washington booted

Updated: September 1, 2010, 3:48 PM ET
By David Ubben | ESPN.com

Missouri has "permanently suspended" running back Derrick Washington, who was charged earlier this week with felony sexual assault stemming from a June incident.

A campus detective's probable cause statement filed Monday says Washington entered the woman's closed bedroom while visiting her roommate and allegedly assaulted the woman while she slept.

The woman obtained a court order of protection that expired in July.

Missouri athletic department policy states athletes with pending felony charges cannot play. But the school has closed the door on Washington having an opportunity to return to the program.

"Nothing about this decision will affect his existing athletic scholarship," the university said in a release.

Washington, who faces a single felony count of deviate sexual assault, declined comment when reached on his cell phone by The Associated Press.

The civil protection order expired on July 21 after both Washington and his accuser didn't show up in court. On Monday, Washington's attorney said his client was never served with the order.

The 21-year-old Washington led Missouri in rushing for the past two seasons, totaling 1,901 yards and 27 touchdowns. Entering his senior season, Washington had his best preseason after dropping several pounds and recovering from a nagging knee injury from 2009.

Coach Gary Pinkel has repeatedly declined comment on Washington's situation, as is his policy with players in off-field trouble, but said he was "embarrassed" with the recent string of incidents that have plagued the program, including three DWI arrests in the month before Washington's incident became public.

"We've worked real hard to develop a program that has a very good reputation for being first-class and disciplined," Pinkel said. "We've taken a few hits. And the only way you're going to get that back is to earn it back, and that's what we intend to do."

Pinkel indefinitely suspended Washington last week without disclosing details. The timing of Washington's initial suspension was questioned since his appointment as one of four team captains and a school-paid trip to Dallas for the Big 12 Conference's annual preseason media gathering occurred after the protection order was issued in late June.

Missouri faces Illinois on Saturday in St. Louis. Pinkel has named sophomore Kendial Lawrence and junior De'Vion Moore as likely starters, with true freshmen Henry Josey and Marcus Murphy also expected to play.

Washington's arrest and dismissal marks the fourth off-field legal problem for the Missouri program since early August.

Reserve tight end and long snapper Beau Brinkley was charged with driving while intoxicated earlier this week. Reserve linebacker Will Ebner and assistant coach Bruce Walker were also arrested this summer for possible drunken-driving violations.

David Ubben covers the Big 12 for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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