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Gophers suspend Nolen for academics

Al Nolen

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Star Tribune has reported that Minnesota Gophers starting point guard Al Nolen has been ruled academically ineligible on Tuesday.

Nolen is appealing his status, according to a person familiar with Nolen's situation, according to the the StarTribune.

Nolen is averaging 6.7 points, 4.6 assists and a Big Ten-leading 2.39 steals per game for the Gophers this season.

The Gophers host Michigan State on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Williams Arena. Minnesota is 3-3 in Big Ten play and 12-6 overall.

Nolen, a former Minneapolis Henry star, is expected to miss Saturday's game and could also miss more upcoming games until his appeal is heard.

If he loses his appeal and is inelgible for the remainder of the semester, he will become the fourth member of the team to miss significant playing time.

Freshmen Trevor Mbakwe and Royce White are suspended indefinitely this season. White returned to practice on Tuesday, but is still suspended from playing in games. Senior Devon Bostick was suspended for six games at the beginning of the season for violating team rules.