Mike London announced the suspensions of three members of his 2-6 Virginia football team on Monday.
Sophomore linebacker Henry Coley, junior tight end Jeremiah Mathis, and senior fullback LoVante' Battle were all suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. London didn't put a length on the suspensions, and declined further comment at his Monday news conference.
Coley is the only starter among the three players, although all three have appeared in all eight games for Virginia this season. Coley, who has started all eight games at strong-side linebacker, is currently fourth on the team with 40 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss. Mathis has five catches for 42 yards -- including a touchdown against Penn State -- while most of Battle's playing time has come on special teams.
London said "it's safe to say" that sophomore Daquan Romero would start in place of Coley on Saturday at N.C. State, with true freshman Demeitre Brim also getting playing time at the position.
"We'll see what happens with Henry when Henry comes back, but the signal is that a position that's open now due to the circumstances that have occurred; is wide open in terms of the competition," London said. "The best man up, the best man to step up and make it happen."
With his team a loss away from a losing record, London was asked on Monday if he had considered using Virginia's final four games as an extended audition for its younger players. But London said that wasn't the plan.
"These are a series of one-game playoffs, or however you want to call it. These games are bowl games for us right now," he said. "We have to win these games, this game that's being presented to us. That's how we have to look at it."
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