Christopher Smith

Texas Suspends Three For Bowl Game

Created on Dec. 23, 2013 12:09 AM EST

Mack Brown's send-off got a little harder Sunday as Texas ruled three players academically ineligible for the Alamo Bowl.

Athlete Daje Johnson, offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle and running back Jalen Overstreet will not be available against Oregon on Dec. 30, the school announced.

Johnson has 318 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, but primarily is a kick and punt returner. His 85-yard punt return for a touchdown against Oklahoma gave the Longhorns a 29-13 lead midway through the third quarter of an important win. Johnson also was suspended for the Thanksgiving game against Texas Tech for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Estelle entered as a backup, but has started eight games at right tackle in place of Josh Cochran (shoulder).

Overstreet rarely sees action, but considering Johnson's suspension and Johnathan Gray's season-ending injury, Texas looks awfully thin at running back behind Malcolm Brown.

It would be easy to spin this narrative as "good for Brown ... see what we meant about his character?" but it's unlikely the coach influenced the ruling and no reports have surfaced to suggest it.

There's no doubt it will be an emotional game for Texas, though, as Brown, a national championship winner, has coached the team since 1998. He'll step down after the Alamo Bowl under heavy criticism, though he insists it was his decision to leave.

Oregon's problems are at tight end, as stater Pharaoh Brown is suspended due to his role in an on-campus snowball fight gone bad. Meanwhile, Colt Lyerla, Oregon's star tight end, quit the team before a few public disputes and a one-game suspension and now faces a felony charge for cocaine possession.

The academic suspensions deplete Texas' depth, but shouldn't have a great affect on the game. The Las Vegas Hilton line remained steady at Oregon -13.5 on Sunday in spite of the news.

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