October 13, 2014
Mississippi defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) runs to the line of scrimmage in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Louisiana-Lafayette at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. No. 14 Mississippi won 5
Rogelio V. Solis

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze says he has talked with defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche about a blurry photo circulating the internet that shows a person holding a bong.

Freeze would not confirm if it was Nkemdiche in the photo or if he had done anything illegal, though the coach did say the picture was taken in August.

''We (drug) test our whole team, our policy we enforce with every single person and I'm super confident that was done,'' Freeze said on Monday.

Freeze would not say if Nkemdiche has failed a drug test, citing privacy laws.

The Mississippi drug policy, which is posted on the athletics website, does not mandate a suspension until a second offense. If it is deemed that a player has earned a suspension, the punishment must begin with the next competition and can last for up to 25 percent of the team's season.

A third offense results in dismissal from the program.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Nkemdiche - who was the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country in 2013 coming out of Loganville, Georgia - has started every game this season for the third-ranked Rebels (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference), who host Tennessee (3-3, 0-2) Saturday.

''Our kids make social decisions all the time, just like my kids do, and I've made mistakes,'' Freeze said. ''We are going to help them navigate life, but we're going to hold them accountable for actions that are not what we want representing our university, or program or themselves. I'm very confident that we deal with all of them in the same manner.''


Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

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