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January 29, 2008Already without leading scorer Stefhon Hannah, the Missouri Tigers' bench just got a whole lot shorter for Wednesday night's game against Nebraska. Mike Anderson has suspended five Tigers indefinitely. Seniors Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Jason Horton will sit, along with junior Leo Lyons.
No official reason has been given for the suspensions, but the action comes on the heels of an altercation outside Club Athena in Columbia early Sunday morning that put Hannah in the hospital with a broken jaw and other injuries. Anderson has been gathering information over the last two days. Multiple sources have indicated that a number of Hannah's teammates were also present during the fight outside the Columbia club.
"I am very disappointed in the actions of these young men," Anderson said in a statement. "We have defined team rules and when those rules aren't followed, our guys must be held accountable for their actions."
All five players are out for Wednesday's game. The status of Brown, Butterfield, Horton and Lyons will be re-evaluated following that game. Hannah is already on the shelf for at least four weeks and the statement released by the school said his status would be re-examined "at a later date."
Many questions have been asked in recent days about a zero tolerance policy instituted by Anderson following earlier off-the-court episodes. Players had been instructed to stay out of bars and Matt Lawrence indicated yesterday that a midnight curfew had been put in place on weekends. The police responded to Sunday morning's incident shortly after 1 a.m.
The suspensions leave Missouri with an incredibly depleted roster for Wednesday night. All of the players except Butterfield started Mizzou's last game. The only player who started last weekend against Colorado who will also start tomorrow is Matt Lawrence.
Just six scholarship players will be suiting up for Mizzou. The likely starting lineup will include Matt and Keon Lawrence, J.T. Tiller, DeMarre Carroll and Vaidotas Volkus. Justin Safford, Nick Berardini and Michael Anderson, Jr. will be available off the bench.
PowerMizzou.com is awaiting an official statement from Missouri.