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N.C. State suspends 7 players involved in BB gun incident

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Gerry Broome/Associated Press
Linebacker Jerod Fernandez is one of seven N.C. State players suspended for the Week 8 game vs. Louisville.

North Carolina State announced Monday that it is suspending seven players, including two starters, for this week's game at Louisville for an incident involving BB guns.

Middle linebacker Jerod Fernandez and strong safety Josh Jones are the starters who have been suspended. Fernandez leads the team with 58 tackles and two interceptions; Jones is fourth with 38 tackles and also has a pick. The other players are wide receiver Johnathan Alston, defensive tackle Justin Jones, defensive end Pharoah McKever, wide receiver Jumichael Ramos and cornerback Mike Stevens. Alston and McKever are key backups. All seven players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores.

"It's going to be a next-man-in mentality for our team this week," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren tweeted Monday morning. "We need to help young men become better young men."

N.C. State carries an 11-game ACC losing streak -- the longest such streak in school history -- into the contest with Louisville. The Wolfpack are 4-3; they opened 4-0 before losing three consecutive league games.

The BB gun incident at NCSU is just the latest involving college players. Kentucky suspended four players for its Oct. 4 game against South Carolina, and East Carolina last week suspended three players indefinitely for their roles in BB gun incidents. At UK, the players had BB guns on campus, which caused a campus-wide lockdown; at ECU, the players fired their BB guns near an elementary school, which caused the school to be locked down for about 10 minutes.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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