Strong and Barbour suspended from team
North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis announced Monday morning that sophomore cornerback Jermaine Strong and sophomore offensive tackle Andre Barbour have been suspended indefinitely from the team "for violating team and University policies."
According to Chapel Hill Police records, Barbour was arrested July 15 on a misdemeanor charge of possessing up to half an ounce of marijuana at 100 E. Rosemary St. He is scheduled to appear in court today for the incident.
Davis did not say whether it contributed to the suspension nor how Strong violated team policy.
He said the situation for both players will be revisited at "some particular time in the future."
Barbour saw extremely limited action this season, but Strong started against Miami and South Carolina after senior cornerback Kendric Williams was lost for the season after tearing his ACL against Virginia Tech.
The suspension takes experience from the already youthful secondary as they head to Wake Forest on Saturday.
Freshman Charles Brown and sophomore Jordan Hemby are listed at the spot in the depth chart, and Brown figures to see at least some time as he is the most experienced of the group. He has played in all seven games at the nickelback position and recorded 29 tackles and one interception.
"In the secondary you do not like change," Davis said. "It's like losing a member of the offensive line. You like that consistency and the continuity of guys being able to play together. But somebody is going to have to step up."
WRs a strong point for UNC
While the coaching staff knew coming out of spring ball that standout Hakeem Nicks would be the primary receiver, there was question as to who would step up besides him. The success of Brandon Tate, Brooks Foster and, more recently, Greg Little has contributed to an effective UNC passing game for much of the season.
"That's been an extraordinarily positive group for us," Davis said. "I think going into the season prior to a lot of those kids' emergence, we would have said â€¦ potentially the most depth would have been the offensive line."
Little was effective both catching and running the ball against South Carolina and showed a Nicks-like talent for hard-nosed running after the catch.
But Nicks got a little dig in on the frosh Monday morning.
"He ain't no speedster," Nicks said. "We always get him in practice because he'll get overthrown a couple times â€¦ other than that he runs routes good, catches the ball good."
Tar Heels glad for bye week
UNC had a bye last week, and it remains at 2-5 on the season with a 1-2 record in the ACC.
Since Nicks, Tate and others were banged up in the South Carolina game, Davis said the bye week timing was helpful.
"I don't think that an open date could have come at a better time for our football team," he said. "I think if we would have had to have played on Saturday, there were maybe two or three players that probably definitely would have not played."