Football

UNC CB Malik Simmons suspended for two games

UNC's Malik Simmons (11) celebrates following the Tar Heels' 45-20 victory over Duke on  Nov. 19, 2014 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham.
UNC's Malik Simmons (11) celebrates following the Tar Heels' 45-20 victory over Duke on Nov. 19, 2014 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham. rwillett@newsobserver.com

North Carolina cornerback Malik Simmons will serve a two-game suspension after appearing in court on Thursday to face two misdemeanor charges, the school announced on Friday.

Simmons since May had faced a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Then he was charged on July 22 with resisting arrest following an off-campus altercation that involved other members of the UNC football team.

Simmons on Thursday in Orange County court was ordered to perform 24 hours of community service, pay court costs and issue a written apology to the officer in the resisting arrest case. Simmons’ case was deferred to Feb. 4, 2016, which means his charges will likely be dropped then if he meets the judge’s orders.

Simmons, who had been competing for a starting position in the secondary, will continue to practice in the preseason and during the first two weeks of the season. He will miss games against South Carolina (on Sept. 3 in Charlotte) and North Carolina A&T (at Kenan Stadium on Sept. 12).

“Malik’s actions did not meet the standards of the Carolina football program and he will serve a significant penalty as a result,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said in a statement. “I’m confident he will learn from it and we can put these issues in the past.”

During the past two seasons Simmons started 15 games and made 81 tackles. He was listed atop the preseason depth chart at one of the cornerback positions, though now Des Lawrence, a junior from Charlotte, becomes the favorite to start the season at that position.

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