Coach Dave Doeren announced the suspension following practice Wednesday night. Thornton has a scheduled court date for Aug. 22. According to the police report, Thornton grabbed his girlfriend by the arm and pushed her against the wall at an on-campus library during a fight.
"The week of the event we talked a lot,” Doeren told local reporters. “He won’t play in the first game. That was decided a long time ago, regardless of the outcome of the court date.”
Thornton led the team in rushing last season. Tony Creecy will get the bulk of the carries when the season opens Aug. 31 against the Bulldogs.
In two other ACC news items:
Virginia Tech running back Joel Caleb has been suspended for the season opener against Alabama for a violation of team rules. Caleb, a redshirt freshman, switched from receiver to running back this fall after Michael Holmes was dismissed from school.
Pitt linebacker Todd Thomas has left the program, coach Paul Chryst confirmed. Thomas, who started seven games last year, made his decision after he he was bumped to the second team as camp opened earlier this week. Coaches hoped that would motivate him. But instead, Thomas informed Chryst he wanted out.