BR.lsunwstatemain.091519 HS 4529.JPG

LSU linebacker Donte Starks (12) in the bench area in the second half of the Tigers' 65-14 win over the Demons, Saturday, September 14, 2019, on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. The win is the 800th victory in the history of the LSU football program.

Sophomore linebacker Donte Starks was dismissed from the LSU football team for a violation of team rules, coach Ed Orgeron announced Friday.

Starks had been indefinitely suspended since February after an arrest on charges of illegally possessing a concealed handgun and attempting to run from law enforcement in Marrero. LSU suspended Starks for an unspecified violation of team rules the next day.

Starks posted a message to his Twitter account Saturday morning, the day after Orgeron's announcement. Starks wrote he wasn't dismissed because of his February arrest, but rather, academic issues.

"I didn't get dismissed because of guns, drugs, etc," Starks said. "That February situation that happened I accepted that and moved on, mistakes happen, it's life. I got dismissed because of my academics.

"The schooling part is my weakness and I'm okay with admitting that. This isn't the end of the world and I'll overcome this."

Starks, a former four-star recruit from John Ehret High School, missed preseason camp last summer while he completed a math course to become academically eligible. Starks joined the team before the season-opener. Orgeron said it came "down to the wire."

Starks ended up playing in three games last season, mostly on special teams. He did not record a tackle. Starks may have competed for a starting role this season after LSU lost its inside linebackers from last year's national championship team.


Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com