Bulldogs' Croom suspends six players indefinitely

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State football coach
Sylvester Croom indefinitely suspended six players Tuesday after
they were charged with assaulting a police officer last weekend.

The six players have pleaded not guilty, their lawyer said.

"It is my intent to discipline our players as if they were my
own sons, my own flesh and blood," Croom said. "I believe this is
the appropriate disciplinary action for the facts as we know them
to be."

Five players were arrested Sunday night on the felony charge:
cornerback Derek Pegues and safety Keith Fitzhugh, both starters;
offensive tackle Michael Gates, and defensive ends Charles Burns
and Quinton Wesley. Quarterback Tray Rutland was arrested Monday.

Each player is free on $25,000 bond. The players are accused of
assaulting off-duty police officer Demetric Armstead during a fight

The coach said each player will be banned from activities at the
sports and cultural center where the alleged assault happened. Each
player will have an 11 p.m. curfew through the end of the spring
semester and will undergo counseling, specifically sensitivity

"Ultimately, I am responsible for their actions and I take full
responsibility," Croom said. "But I want to stress that these are
good kids who come from good families, who made a serious mistake
in judgment."