Aug. 9, 2004 wire reports

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia linebacker Odell Thurman has been suspended for the first three games of the season for violating team rules.

Thurman will be allowed to practice, but will miss games against Georgia Southern, South Carolina and Marshall. The junior could return for the Oct. 2 game against LSU, a rematch of last year's Southeastern Conference championship game.

"We have rules that must be adhered to by all members of our team," coach Mark Richt said in a statement posted on the university's Web site. "It's sometimes an unpleasant duty of a coach, but discipline is an important part of our team unity, and, ultimately, team success."

Thurman, who had 121 tackles last season, reported to Athens with the rest of his teammates on Saturday. Preseason practice begins Monday.

The Associated Press News Service

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