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Vanderbilt dismisses 4 football players for violating team rules

Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP

Vanderbilt players celebrated a win against NC State in the Music City Bowl for school's best season since 1915.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Vanderbilt has dismissed four football players from the team and kicked them off campus while Nashville police investigate whether a sex crime occurred in a campus dormitory.

The school's public affairs department announced Friday that four players - none of whom it named - were suspended from the team. The university issued another release Saturday morning indicating they're removed from the team and on interim suspension from the university "effective immediately, pending further investigation and/or a hearing.''

School officials say the players can't return to campus "without explicit permission'' from the school's office of student conduct and academic integrity.

Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said Friday that the university's decision was related to the police investigation.

"The well-being of our students is of paramount concern to us, and we will not tolerate any actions that threaten safety and security,'' Vanderbilt vice chancellor for public affairs Beth Fortune said in a statement released by the university.

Aaron said the department's sex crimes unit began investigating Wednesday after Vanderbilt police notified them about "a matter that is alleged to have occurred at a Vanderbilt University dormitory.''

"This is an open and very much active investigation,'' Aaron said.

Vanderbilt went 9-4 and beat North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl last year for its best season since 1915.

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