NC State has dismissed two football players and suspended three others after an investigation found they were at an on-campus party in July where alcohol and marijuana were involved.
University police said in a news conference Tuesday that the party was in one of the player's rooms.
Coach Dave Doeren said in a statement that freshmen Antoine Thompson and Kevince Brown have been kicked off the team, and freshmen Isaiah Moore, Erin Collins and Xavier Lyas have been suspended for violation of the student-athlete code of conduct and football team rules.
The investigation was part of an inquiry into sexual assault allegations that were reported July 22, the day after the party. The university stressed that these disciplinary actions are not regarding the sexual assault allegations, and additional punishments could be handed out pending ongoing criminal and Title IX investigations.
University police said Tuesday that all five players were at the party, plus three women who reported assaults and some others who came in and out of the room throughout the course of the evening.
According to police incident reports made public in late July, one case is being investigated as second-degree forcible rape, and another is being investigated as second-degree rape. A third NC State student reported being the victim of sexual battery at the party.
After the sexual assault reports, NC State University Police began interviewing people involved and collecting evidence.
The university said university police have nearly concluded their investigation into the sexual assault allegations and have turned over evidence to the Wake County District Attorney's Office.
Possible criminal charges could be brought as a result of the investigation. Separately, university administrators are conducting a Title IX investigation to determine whether there were student code of conduct violations.
"We have a locker room full of young men committed to representing our University with integrity and respect, and have created a strong culture for NC State Football through our leadership program," Doeren said in a statement. "We had five freshmen, two of whom have been dismissed, who made poor decisions that don't align with the values of our program and each has been handled accordingly.
"Although I've disciplined these players for violations of the Student Athlete Code of Conduct, I want to make it clear that I respect due process in the University and legal proceedings. Our players understand that I'm going be firm but fair when it comes to discipline."
NC State athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement that she supports the disciplinary action but noted that more action could be warranted pending the investigation's outcome.
"These actions are not regarding allegations of sexual assault," Yow said. "We reserve the right to impose additional sanctions if new violations are discovered.
"Should any student-athlete be charged with sexual misconduct by legal authorities, he will immediately be suspended from the team. That said, it is extremely important to respect due process for the student-athletes."