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Southern California Running Back Tyler Suspended for Comments

University of Southern California running back Marc Tyler was suspended for the season opener against the University of Minnesota for making inappropriate comments in a televised interview.

Tyler, who rushed for 913 yards and nine touchdowns last season, said he was joking when he answered a question from TMZ about whether USC athletes were paid more than National Football League players. Tyler has been suspended from all activities in addition to the Sept. 3 game against Minnesota, USC coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement.

“Although Marc may find this punishment severe, it is imperative we continue to have a high standard for player behavior,” Kiffin said yesterday in the e-mailed statement. “Marc needs to work hard to show us that he can meet the standards of being a USC football player.”

Tyler, who is entering his senior season, apologized in a statement for “embarrassing USC, my teammates and coaches,” with his comments, some of which were also sexually suggestive. Tyler added that he’s committed to doing everything right so he can be reinstated to the team.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tyler had been facing possible school discipline for two off-field incidents in April that involved female USC students.

Tyler said he enrolled in a counseling program to deal with alcohol-related issues, the newspaper said.

“While the vast majority of our student-athletes act appropriately, Marc did not and stepped way out of line,” USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said. “He did not represent himself, his university or his team the way we expect. Marc has a lot to do to prove he belongs on our team.”

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