Troubles for NC State

This isn't what NC State coach Tom O'Brien needed.

O'Brien, who is entering his fourth season in Raleigh and trying to get back to the postseason on a consistent basis, needs leaders. He needs consistent play up front on both sides of the ball from veterans. Instead, he got the news that four of his players -- including two starters from 2009 -- were cited for misdemeanor charges after police found marijuana in their apartment this past weekend.

All of these players are significant to NC State's success. Tight end George Bryan was a first-team all-conference selection last year. He had 40 catches for 422 yards and five touchdowns. It was the second-most catches among ACC tight ends. Offensive tackle Jake Vermiglio is the Pack's best offensive lineman, and he is entering his third season as a starter. Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn probably would have started on the defensive line if they played tomorrow. Defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy is a potential starter as well, but he was already suspended.

Because all of the charges were misdemeanors, odds are the legal and university repercussions won't be too serious. Sweezy could be the exception because he was already in trouble, but O'Brien still has to meter his punishment. Being the no-nonsense man he is, you can expect it to be fair and fitting.