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Nkemdiche will not play in Sugar Bowl; Freeze, Nkemdiche issue statements

Nkemdiche will not play in Sugar Bowl; Freeze, Nkemdiche issue statements

On Sunday morning, Ole Miss released statements from both head coach Hugh Freeze and defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, stating the star football player will not participate with the Rebels in the upcoming AllState Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2016.ย 

Nkemdiche, widely considered a top-five NFL Draft prospect, will not play against Oklahoma State in the bowl game as a result of an incident on Dec. 12 in which he fell out of a fourth-floor hotel window in his home state of Georgia.ย 

Statement from head coach Hugh Freeze:

Last week, our Athletics Director and I informed Robert that he will not be joining us for the bowl game. In addition, Robert has decided to declare for the NFL Draft, and we will continue to support him as he prepares for the next chapter in his life. I look forward to sharing with NFL general managers and scouts what a unique and talented individual he is. Robert has made an immeasurable impact on our program, and we are forever indebted to him. He and his family will always be part of the Ole Miss family.

Statement from junior defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche:

While I wish I could have finished this journey with my team, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this program, and I am ready to begin the next phase of my life. I have learned a valuable lesson in the last week, and I look forward to showing NFL personnel that this is not representative of my true character. I want to thank my coaches, my teammates and Rebel Nation for their support these past three years, and I look forward to making them proud for years to come.

Feature image credit: Bentley Breland, The Rebel Walk

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over a decade, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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