Christopher Smith

UNC LB Hughes Suspended

Created on Jan. 24, 2014 4:04 PM EST

North Carolina linebacker Travis Hughes has been suspended after allegedly assaulting a campus parking enforcement officer, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Hughes, the team's fifth-leading tackler last season, is considered a key returnee for the Tar Heels' defense, but is prohibited from participating in all team activities for now, a team spokesman told reporters.

According to the AP, Hughes found the officer writing a parking ticket for his car and arranging for it to be towed. Angry, he allegedly assaulted the officer and drove away, only to be pulled over and arrested soon after.

Hughes also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia last January. Coach Larry Fedora told reporters Hughes faced discipline for that incident, though he played in the season opener against South Carolina.

The Tar Heels won six of seven to close the season, including a resounding 39-17 victory against Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl, and with no team positioned to dominate the Coastal Division in 2014, there's optimism for the first full season of quarterback Marquise Williams. But with the specter of academic scandal among UNC athletes drawing national coverage, this kind of attention is the last thing the program wants.

As compliance officials and sports information directors put together a list of topics for players to approach with caution (social media), they may want to think about including traffic ticket officers. Johnny Manziel combined both last year with a tweet ranting against College Station due to a parking ticket.

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