Mizzou suspends safety after arrest

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri safety and captain Jason Simpson will not travel with the team to the Independence Bowl after being arrested for marijuana possession over the weekend.

Simpson, a four-year starter and the team's second-leading tackler this season, was suspended for the Dec. 30 bowl game against South Carolina by coach Gary Pinkel following the Sunday night arrest.

Simpson was arrested by police after his name popped up in a criminal database for failing to appear in court on a littering charge from last year. After a search, he was cited for possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana and possession of drug
paraphernalia. All the charges are misdemeanors.

He was issued two citations on the drug charges and posted $100 bond for the warrant. He is the third Missouri football starter in the past two years to be suspended after a drug- or alcohol-related arrest. Linebacker Marcus Bacon was suspended for the New Mexico game this season after a Sept. 3 arrest for driving while intoxicated. And linebacker David Richard was suspended for one game last year after an early-season arrest for marijuana possession.

Simpson was not at Tuesday's practice and did not reply to an e-mail requesting comment or to a message left on his cell phone.

After practice Tuesday, Pinkel declined to elaborate on Simpson's conduct. The defensive leader was also suspended for one game as a sophomore for arguing with an assistant coach during a game.

"I don't ever discuss the discipline things, although I'm very consistent with what I do," Pinkel said.