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Top-ranked Clemson suspends 3 players for CFP semifinal game

Three Clemson players have been suspended reportedly for failing a drug test and will not participate in the top-ranked Tigers' College Football Playoff semifinal against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Thursday.

Three Clemson players have been suspended reportedly for failing a drug test and will not participate in the top-ranked Tigers’ College Football Playoff semifinal against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Thursday.

According to multiple reports, freshman wide receiver Deon Cain, senior kicker Ammon Lakip and junior tight end Jay Jay McCullough have been sent home.

Coach Dabo Swinney is expected to discuss the suspensions during a Wednesday morning news conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The most significant loss is Cain, the Tigers’ second-leading receiver with 34 catches for 582 yards and five receptions. Cain had emerged as quarterback Deshaun Watson’s favorite deep threat.

Senior wideout Charone Peake is expected to step into the lineup in place of Cain. Peake recorded similar numbers with 40 catches for 563 yards and five touchdowns.

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Lakip’s loss also is somewhat significant considering the Tigers’ inconsistency covering kickoffs.

Lakip was expected to handle kickoffs and extra points. He already had lost his starting job before the season and was suspended for three games after he was charged with cocaine possession.

Field-goal kicker Greg Heugel will replace Lakip but does not have as powerful a leg as Lakip, according to reports.

McCullough, a reserve tight end, saw little action this season and did not have a reception.

The players’ status to play in the national title game is uncertain. Clemson would have to beat Oklahoma to advance to that game.

Leach’s contract extended at Washington State

Washington State extended coach Mike Leach’s contract through 2020 on Tuesday after capping its best season in more than a decade.

The Cougars finished with 9-4 in 2015 - their best record since 2003 - after a 20-14 victory over the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

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Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and assistant head coach/defensive line coach Joe Salave’a also signed contract extensions.

Leach has a 21-29 overall record at Washington State since he took over the program in 2012.

Ohio State RB Elliott unaware he had suspended driver’s license

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was unaware that he had a suspended driver’s license last weekend when he was involved in a car accident near the team’s practice facility in Columbus, Ohio.

The junior was cited for three misdemeanors after he lost control of his father’s car on wet pavement and collided with another vehicle on Sunday before the seventh-ranked Buckeyes left for the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. Elliott and the driver of the other car were not injured.

Elliott’s Illinois had license expired and he said he was using his passport for photo ID after losing his wallet. He is not subject to any disciplinary action from the university and will play in Friday’s Fiesta Bowl game against No. 6 Notre Dame at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“First and foremost, I wasn’t aware that my license was suspended, and I mean, I’m doing everything I can now, my dad is doing everything he can now to get that handled and get my license back in good standing,” Elliott said Tuesday in his first public comments since the accident.

“Just honestly glad that nobody was majorly injured, everybody was all right, and I feel like that’s the most important part. It was a scary situation, really just trying to put it behind me and focus on this game.”

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ESPN reported that Elliott received a speeding ticket on May 13 and didn’t show up in court or pay the fine, resulting in him being taken to collections and his registration blocked on Dec. 3.

Elliott was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2015 after rushing for 1,672 yards and 19 touchdowns on 262 carries.

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