PROVO — BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced senior running back Manase Tonga has been ruled academically ineligible to compete during the 2008 season. Tonga has been suspended from the university and may re-apply for admission in October for winter semester, 2009. Tonga will redshirt the 2008 season.

"Not having Manase with us this coming season is disappointing and hurts our program; however, our program is designed so that the next player in line will step in and contribute at a high level,"

Mendenhall said. "I'm confident Manase will take the necessary steps to restore his eligibility and be able to return to the team next season."

The 6-foot, 238-pound native of San Mateo, Calif., saw action in 12 of the Cougars' 13 games last season and was credited with 88 carries for 305 yards and eight touchdowns.