USC running back Marc Tyler hasn't been acting like a senior leader for the Trojans of late, and now he's earned a suspension from coach Lane Kiffin for the season opener against Minnesota on Sept. 3.
Speaking to TMZ, Tyler -- who led the Trojans with 913 yards rushing last year -- appeared intoxicated when he made inappropriate comments about Kim Kardashian and joked about being paid to play for the Trojans, who you might recall are still in the midst of serving NCAA sanctions.
Moreover, Tyler is awaiting a ruling from the school's disciplinary committee on a pair of alcohol-related incidents from last year, which could make his penalty even more severe. Kiffin added that Tyler is also suspended from all team activities.
“Although Marc may find this punishment severe, it is imperative we continue to have a high standard for player behavior," Kiffin said in a statement. "Marc needs to work hard to show us that he can meet the standards of being a USC football player.”
Athletic director Pat Haden said Tyler "stepped way out of line."
"Marc has a lot to do to prove he belongs on our team," Haden said. "We hope Marc learns from this and comes back a changed and better person.”
The school also released a statement from Tyler:
“I want to apologize for embarrassing USC, my teammates and coaches. I am disappointed that I let down all the people who have supported me as I have been working through some personal issues. After meeting today with Mr. Haden and Coach Kiffin, I realize how my behavior and my statements, even though I was joking, can reflect poorly on so many people. As a veteran player, I should know that my job is to be an example for the younger guys. I accept my punishment and I regret that I will miss the opening game of my senior year. I am committed to doing everything the right way so that I can be reinstated to the team.”
What this means for USC is the backfield suddenly becomes very inexperienced, though the injury-prone Tyler was far from a certainty to top the rotation at the position. Without Tyler, the mercurial Dillon Baxter is the only returning running back who recorded a carry last year, and he had just 59 totes. Further, Baxter was listed behind junior Curtis McNeal and redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan on the post-spring depth chart.
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