MTSU lineman could be suspended for Arkansas State game

Murfreesboro, TN ( - MTSU offensive tackle Mike Williams could be suspended for the next game by the Sun Belt Conference following his ejection from Saturday's win.

His status for MTSU's Tuesday, Nov. 2 game at Arkansas State (6 p.m., ESPN2) has not been determined, and the Sun Belt office does not comment on ejections or suspensions, per league policy.

Williams has been cleared by the NCAA to play in the ASU game, but the conference has the final decision, per NCAA rule. The Sun Belt's policy is to suspend an ejected coach or player for a minimum of one game.

Williams was ejected from MTSU's 38-10 win over Louisiana-Monoroe when it was ruled he threw a punch during a Blue Raiders' PAT kick in the second quarter.

MTSU coach Rick Stockstill called Williams' alleged actions "incredibly stupid," in Saturday's post-game press conference. On Monday's Sun Belt coaches teleconference, Stockstill said Williams' status is uncertain.

"(Williams') future has not been determined. It's strictly the conference's (decision)," Stockstill said. "But he has met the NCAA requirements (to play)."

Per NCAA rule 9-6-1, when a player is disqualified from a game due to a flagrant penalty, the team's conference shall automatically initiate a video review for possible additional sanctions prior to the next scheduled game.

The Sun Belt's policy on ejections reads as follows:

"Any coach or student-athlete ejected from a contest shall be suspended for a minimum of one contest. The suspension shall be served during the institution's next contest. Additional disciplinary action or penalties may apply after a review of the incident."

However, a one-game suspension may be set aside if the player establishes good cause to show a suspension would be inappropriate.

MTSU had the option to appeal a suspension within 24 hours of Saturday's game. MTSU athletic communications director Mark Owens said athletic department officials had been in discussions with the league office about Williams' situation, and they are sending game tapes for review.

Williams has started 32 consecutive games, tied for the longest streak on the team. Redshirt freshman Jesse Grisham finished Saturday's game in Williams' spot at left tackle.