RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State suspended seven players - including its leading tackler and a second defensive starter - for this week's game against Louisville for their involvement in a BB gun incident, coach Dave Doeren said Monday.
Doeren said the players were playing a game with the BB guns at an off-campus residence last week and ''made a mistake in not recognizing that this activity could have resulted in someone being injured.''
The coach provided no further details. Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Suhgrue did not immediately return an email.
Among the suspended players are linebacker Jerod Fernandez and safety Josh Jones - both of whom started the 30-14 home loss to Boston College on Saturday.
Fernandez leads the team and is tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 58 tackles, and also has a team-best two interceptions. Jones has 38 stops, one sack and an interception.
The other suspended players were receivers Johnathan Alston and Jumichael Ramos, defensive linemen Justin Jones and Pharoah McKever and cornerback Mike Stevens.
Alston is tied for fourth on the team with 14 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown while Ramos has one catch for seven yards.
Justin Jones has five tackles in five games, McKeever has made two starts and has two stops and Stevens has three tackles in six games.
''There's going to be a lot of next-man-in mentality'' at Louisville, Doeren said.
Additionally, five freshmen who are redshirting this season - Tyler Jones, Kalen McCain, Deyshawn Middleton, Terronne Prescod and Maurice Trowell - have been placed on team probation.