MSU's Nix arrested, suspended from team

Published Apr. 3, 2012 1:12 p.m. ET

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State center Derrick Nix has been suspended indefinitely from the basketball team after his arrest early Tuesday on suspicion of operating a vehicle with any presence of drugs and possession of marijuana.

Nix was arrested about 12:20 a.m. Tuesday, according to a district court in East Lansing.

"Based on the information we have received, Derrick Nix has been suspended indefinitely from our basketball team, and his future with our program is uncertain," coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. "He made an irresponsible decision that has put his future with our program in serious jeopardy."

Nix averaged 8.1 points this season as a junior and his improvement was a big reason why Michigan State tied for first in the Big Ten and won the conference tournament. The Spartans lost in the NCAA round of 16.

The 6-foot-9 Nix was part of a solid nucleus of players expected to return in 2012-13, including point guard Keith Appling, fellow center Adreian Payne and guard Branden Dawson, whose freshman season was cut short by a left knee injury. If Nix misses an extended period of time or is dismissed from the team permanently, Payne will likely shoulder more responsibility inside. Payne started 36 games this season, averaging 7.0 points.

Nix made great strides recently after poor conditioning had been holding him back. Nix trimmed down to 267 pounds for preseason practices after weighing as much as 340 and rejuvenated his career during his junior season.