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May 2, 2006

Six Mississippi State players to be reinstated

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Six suspended Mississippi State football players who pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor assault of an off-duty police officer will be reinstated this summer, coach Sylvester Croom said Tuesday.

Cornerback Derek Pegues, safety Keith Fitzhugh, offensive tackle Michael Gates, quarterback Tray Rutland and defensive ends Charles Burnes and Quinton Wesley - all freshmen - pleaded guilty last week to reduced charges after they were accused of assaulting the officer at a downtown nightclub.

Each was fined $500 and received a six-month suspended sentence for misdemeanor simple assault.

Croom indefinitely suspended the players shortly after the April 1 incident.

''The legal system has worked, and our players have been penalized by the court,'' Croom said.

The incident took place at an off-campus party. Police said officer Demetric Armstead was off duty and attending the event with his fiancee.

Police said Armstead intervened in an argument between two women and that the six players assaulted the officer, knocking him to the floor and kicking him and punching him.

For more coverage of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, check out BulldogBlitz.com.

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