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Anderson suspends Lyons for traffic arrest

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

(Photo)
NATI HARNIK ~ Associated Press
Missouri's Leo Lyons commits a charge against Nebraska's Ade Dagunduro during Saturday's loss in Lincoln, Neb.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri forward Leo Lyons was suspended indefinitely Monday, a day after his arrest on traffic charges and for failing to pay a traffic fine from 2006.

Lyons was arrested late Sunday in Columbia for failure to have his lights on and failure to display proof of insurance, team spokesman Dave Reiter said. Police then learned there was a warrant for Lyons for an unpaid fine for making an illegal turn in 2006, Reiter said.

Calls to Columbia police were not returned.

Coach Mike Anderson had not determined how long Lyons will be suspended, saying only that he won't play against Colorado on Wednesday.

The loss of the 6-foot-9 Lyons would be a big one for Missouri. He's second on the team to DeMarre Carroll in both scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounding (6.2 per game), and led the Tigers with 12 points against Nebraska after a scoreless first half.

"The theme here is responsibility," Anderson said in a statement. "Leo failed to meet his responsibilities as a driver and it led him to this unfortunate situation. We preach responsibility to our young men every day, and we are going to help Leo learn from this mistake. We'll continue to monitor the situation, and once we feel comfortable that we have all the facts and Leo meets his obligations, then we'll move forward."

Lyons was a freshman when the original driving offense occurred.

Lyons has been suspended by Anderson twice before.

Last January, he was one of five players disciplined for curfew violations after an altercation at a Columbia nightclub. And soon after Anderson arrived, he suspended Lyons for both exhibition games before the 2006-07 season for violating team academic policy. Lyons later called that suspension "a wake-up call."

"It's one of those misfortunate things where it might not be that serious, but it's one of those lessons that needs to be learned by him, especially with him going out into the real world," Carroll said. "You've got to take care of your business. I think he'll grow from it and come back from it."


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