Nkemdiche was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace around midnight Saturday, while Bryant was charged with public drunkenness and disturbing the peace early Sunday. Nkemdiche was reportedly celebrating his 21st birthday, while Bryant was arrested Friday on the Oxford square.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement through the university that he is still gathering facts about the incidents and that both players have been suspended "until we know more."
For a team looking to take the next step in its pursuit to make its first-ever trip to Atlanta for the SEC championship game, this isn't exactly what you want two of your leaders making news for. Their arrests make four now for the Rebels during the offseason. Both players have made major impacts for the Rebels in the last two seasons and should be major players for Ole Miss yet again this fall.
There's nothing that says players can't have fun, but they have to know that they aren't invincible. They have to know that they have limits, and putting yourselves in situations where negative things can happen aren't exactly helpful.
There are still facts out there with both players, but just being in situations like these has to be frustrating for an Ole Miss staff that hasn't had to deal with a lot of these type of issues during Freeze's tenure.
In what could prove as a pivotal season for Freeze because of the talent coming back and the expectations mounting in Oxford, this isn't the way he wanted to start off 2014. You can bet that Freeze will make sure both guys understand that their faces are front and center on this football team, and they'll likely get some extra time with conditioning so that the message is hear loud and clear.
Here's what Nkemdiche tweeted from his account (@denzelnkemdiche) on Monday in response to his arrest:
"Hopefully I won’t be judged by the exaggerated claims of how I acted on my 21st birthday. I still know what’s important in life..God got me."