3 Southern Miss players shot in brawl

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Three University of Southern Mississippi football players were shot during a fight at a nightclub, and all three were in fair condition at a local hospital, police said Sunday afternoon.

Linebackers Martez Smith and Tim Green and defensive end Deddrick Jones were shot just after 1:30 a.m. early Sunday, Hattiesburg police spokesman Sgt. Allen Murray said.

No arrests have been made, and police did not comment on possible suspects. Murray said it's possible the shooting was gang-related.

Murray had previously said the fight happened at Remington's Hunt Club.

He said the fight started inside the club, then spilled out into the parking lot, where the players were shot.

Club officials told The Hattiesburg American in October that they typically have 20 security staffers on duty on weekends, when crowds can swell to as many as 1,000.

Smith, a 22-year-old, fifth-year senior, was the team's starting middle linebacker before a season-ending knee injury last month. Jones, a 23-year-old junior, has started all 10 games on the defensive line, making 26 tackles, including 3½ for a loss.

Green, a 21-year-old junior, has played in seven games as a backup, making four tackles.

The incident happened just hours after Southern Miss tightened the race for the Conference USA East Division title with a 31-21 win over host Central Florida, which had been ranked in The Associated Press' Top 25 for the first time, at 25th.

Jones and Green played in the game.

"During this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with these three members of our Southern Miss family, Martez, Tim and Deddrick, as well as their families," USM coach Larry Fedora said in a statement released by the school. "These three men are an integral part of the success of our football program, and we will continue to keep them in our hearts and hope for a speedy recovery."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.