Miami starting LB Alex Figueroa kicked off team after arrest

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Miami dismissed two players from its team Tuesday, including a projected starting linebacker, after they were charged with sexual battery.

Sophomore linebacker Alex Figueroa, who started twice last season, and backup linebacker JaWand Blue, who made one tackle in two games, were arrested Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported, after admitting to Coral Gables police they raped a 17-year-old girl on campus over the weekend. The Herald's report said the players -- both of whom are 20 (Figueroa turned 20 on Tuesday) and from south Florida -- told police they got the girl intoxicated before assaulting her.

The Herald reported that the arrest affidavit said the incident occurred in the early-morning hours Saturday at a residence hall on the UM campus, which is in the Miami suburb of Coral Gables. Further, the affidavit said the 17-year-old was physically helpless to resist.

The Herald said the girl reported the crime to UM police and that Coral Gables police investigated and made the arrests.

"Earlier today, I permanently dismissed JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa from the UM football team," athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "The University has also suspended the students from school and barred them from all campus facilities while the University conducts an internal investigation and continues to cooperate with local law enforcement."

From a football standpoint, linebacker already was a position of worry for Hurricanes coach Al Golden. Other than senior Denzel Perryman, who might be the best inside linebacker in the nation, UM has few proven players at the position. Senior Thurston Armbrister and junior Raphael Kirby, who have a combined 99 tackles in their careers (Perryman had 108 last season alone), likely will start at the outside linebacker spots. It seems a given now that at least two true freshman linebackers will see time as reserves.

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

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