With a huge game looming for the Michigan State Spartans, senior linebacker Max Bullough has been been suspended by the team for the Rose Bowl game against the Stanford Cardinal for violating team rules.
ESPN college football insider Brett McMurphy reported the suspension late on Dec. 25 in what was a huge surprise for Michigan State football fans:
Michigan State announces senior LB Max Bullough suspended for Rose Bowl for violating team rules. Career over— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 26, 2013
As a senior leader of the defense, Bullough's suspension was a shocking blow to the team. Matt Charboneau from The Detroit News tweeted out his reaction to the suspension:
Not sure I can convey how stunned I am that Max Bullough has been suspended. Absolute last person I thought this would happen to— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) December 26, 2013
The decision to suspend Bullough clearly says a lot about Mark Dantonio and the way he runs his program, as Scout.com's Mike Wilson pointed out:
I'm also not sure Mark Dantonio can make a bigger statement about the program being bigger than a player than by suspending Max Bullough.— Mike Wilson (@MikeWScout) December 26, 2013
Kevin Gehl of WLNS-TV provided a statement from head coach Dantonio on the suspension:
The Spartans have allowed just 12.7 points per game this season, which ranked fourth in the nation, also allowing just 248.2 total yards and 3.9 yards per play. But the loss of Bullough is a tough one, as he's had 76 total tackles with 9.5 of them going for a loss this season.
Of course, with this being his senior year, the suspension could hurt his NFL prospects as well. CBS Sports has Bullough as its 170th overall player and No. 9 inside linebacker for the 2014 draft, while Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller ranks him as his No. 6 inside linebacker and 126th overall player on his latest big board.
SI.com's Chris Burke still believes that Bullough has a future in the NFL:
Yiiiiikes. Next stop: NFL. "@McMurphyESPN: Michigan State announces senior Max Bullough suspended for Rose Bowl for violating team rules."— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) December 26, 2013
Regardless, this is obviously a major loss for the Michigan State defense heading into the Rose Bowl against such a tough opponent, but the team will have to find a way to make up for his absence.