Missouri coach Gary Pinkel opened his weekly press conference Monday by announcing that redshirt sophomore wide receiver Levi Copelin had been dismissed from the program.
Copelin, a 6-foot-2 and 190-pound wide receiver from Broken Arrow, Okla., was expected to compete for a starting role this season, but instead he was suspended for the season July 29 after a failed drug test.
Pinkel did not elaborate on his decision or the timing of Copelin’s dismissal. “I don’t discuss personnel issues,” Pinkel said.
Copelin was serving a year-long NCAA suspension after testing positive for an unspecified banned substance, which he said was an unapproved supplement.
During two-plus seasons at Missouri, Copelin also was arrested twice.
He was cited for marijuana possession in October 2012, a charge that was later reduced to second-degree trespassing, and was arrested for a peace disturbance at the MU identification office in January.
Copelin was due in court Wednesday in that case.
Ray earns SEC honor
Missouri junior Shane Ray, a Bishop Miege graduate, was chosen Monday as the SEC defensive player of the week.
He turned in a dominating performance against Central Florida, tying his career high for tackles (seven) and sacks (two) while setting new career highs in solo tackles (seven) and tackles for a loss (four).
Ray, who is tied for first in the nation in tackles for a loss (7 1/2) and tied for third in sacks (five), also forced a fumble that stopped a lengthy Knights drive helped preserve the Tigers’ second-half shutout.
Senior running back Marcus Murphy, who sprained an ankle during the fourth quarter against Central Florida, is expected to play Saturday against Indiana.
Pinkel also said junior running back Russell Hansbrough should be available and was, in fact, available during the fourth quarter against the Knights.
“He was dizzy a little bit, but the medical staff handles that very well,” Pinkel said. “They make a determination, and their determination was that he could have played. He could have gone back in the fourth quarter. We just didn’t think it was necessary.”
Senior defensive tackle Matt Hoch (strained pectoral) and freshman wide receiver Lawrence Lee (sprained ankle), who missed the Central Florida game after mid-week injuries, also should return.
That leaves sophomore running back Morgan Steward as the only player on Missouri’s official injury report for the fourth consecutive week. He is out again versus the Hoosiers.
Game-day info announced for MU-South Carolina
Missouri gets its chance to avenge its only SEC loss during the regular season at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The conference announced the kickoff time Monday. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The No. 14 Gamecocks, 2-1, beat No. 18 Missouri, 3-0, in double overtime last season at Memorial Stadium.
Grant earns SEC award
Missouri senior forward Taylor Grant was announced Monday as the SEC women’s soccer offensive player of the week.
Grant, who leads the Tigers with six goals this season, scored the overtime game winner in Friday’s 4-3 comeback win against Montana and added the decisive goal Sunday in a 3-1 victory against Cal State-Northridge.
She ranks second in the SEC in goals scored and first with three game-winning goals.