Miss. St. left tackle suspended


Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State suspended offensive tackle Richard Burch on Tuesday after he was charged with selling marijuana.
Richard Burch was charged with the sale of more than an ounce of marijuana after a raid on his apartment in Starkville on Monday, Sgt. Maurice Johnson of the Starkville Police Department said.
Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom suspended Burch from the team for violating team and university policies, according to a statement issued by the school.
The 21-year-old Burch started 11 games at left tackle in 2004. He has started 25 of 30 games in three seasons at Mississippi State.
Two other men were also arrested with Burch, who was released Monday night on $5,000 bond.
  • RECRUITING SCANDAL: Memphis defensive tackle Albert Means said his high school coach picked the college he would attend, while testifying Tuesday in the federal trial of an Alabama booster.
    Logan Young is charged with paying a $150,000 bribe to high school coach Lynn Lang get Means to sign with Alabama.
    Means said he signed with the Crimson Tide because Lang told him to, but he never met Young, a millionaire from Memphis.
    Lang has pleaded guilty to taking a bribe to send Means to Alabama and is awaiting sentencing. He was expected to testify against Young on Tuesday.
    Defense lawyers say Lang is a liar and is the foundation of the government's case against Young.
    Authorities say Means did not know Lang was brokering his football skills.
    Means signed with Alabama in 2000 but transferred to the University of Memphis the following year after reports of a payoff to Lang became public.
    Alabama's recruitment of Means became part of an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions against the Crimson Tide in 2002.
    The player told jurors he depended totally on Lang to deal with college recruiters.
    ''He took care of everything else,'' Means testified. ''That's why I trusted him.''
    Means also said someone else, who was not identified in court, took his college entrance exam for him, and he acknowledged lying about that to a grand jury.
    ''I was afraid,'' he said.
    While entering his guilty plea in 2002, Lang said he arranged for a stand-in to take Means' college entrance exam.
    Means wrapped up his eligibility to play college football this year and expects to graduate in May. He said he hopes to have a professional football career.
  • SOUTHERN CAL: Quarterback Matt Leinart underwent successful tendinitis surgery Tuesday on his throwing elbow.
    ''We removed the tendinitis on the inside of Matt's elbow through a small incision. The surgery went fine and there were no problems,'' Dr. James Tibone said in a statement released by the university. ''We found what we expected, a small degenerative part of his tendon. He'll be in a splint for 10 days, then he'll start to rehab.''
  • MEMPHIS: A student suspended for allegedly assaulting her ex-boyfriend, a 320-pound football player, says University of Memphis officials are treating her differently than a male basketball player facing similar charges.
    Jalysia Thompson, 22, was suspended Jan. 6 until the summer for a Nov. 27 incident in which Tigers defensive lineman Van Houston called campus police to his apartment. She also doesn't understand why Houston also hasn't been suspended after she was left with a deep scratch on her right arm.
    ''We all were involved,'' said Thompson, who is charged with domestic assault in Shelby County General Sessions Court.
    Tigers basketball player Jeremy Hunt sat out two games after being charged with domestic assault in the alleged Jan. 10 beating of ex-girlfriend Tamika Rogers.
    University officials said the difference is that the incident involving Thompson occurred on campus, which falls under the school's code of conduct. The incident involving Hunt took place at Rogers' apartment off campus.
    ''The whole judicial affairs process takes into account whatever is the full situation involving the particular incident and issues, as well as any other issues involving that student,'' said university council Sheri Lipman.
    Thompson told police on Nov. 27 that Houston manhandled her, while his teammate, defensive lineman LaVale Washington, provoked her. Officers decided that Thompson was the primary aggressor based on contradictory statements, according to a police report.
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