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So. Miss dismisses top wide receiver

Posted: Friday August 01, 2003 12:17 PM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Southern Mississippi receiver Chris Johnson has been dismissed from the team for violating team and academic rules, head coach Jeff Bower says.

Bower also announced Thursday that junior defensive end Seante Williams was dismissed from the team for academic rules violations.

"We hold our kids to certain standards, and we'll continue to do that," Bower said. "It's unfortunate, but these things happen."

Bower declined to elaborate.

Johnson, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior from Gramercy, La., was one of the Golden Eagles' top receivers over the past two seasons, starting 15 of USM's 23 games over that stretch.

Last year, he led USM in catches (50) and receiving yards (673) with three touchdowns. He ranked fourth among Conference USA receivers in receptions (4.2 per game) and eighth in yardage (56.1 yards per game).

"We'll have to have other guys step up," Bower said.

Williams, a 6-6, 260-pound transfer from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, had 21 tackles last season. Coming out of the spring, he was listed behind starter Ronald Jones and back-up Akeem Lockett at defensive end.

Bower said junior reserve tight end Jonathan Simmons had decided to give up football. Simmons, a native of Jasper, Ala., played in six games last season.

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