Cullowhee, N.C. - Five combined Catamount football players will miss the 2014 season opener at South Florida as the Western Carolina Athletic Department and Director of Athletics Randy Eaton handed out four suspensions stemming from violations of the department's academic standards as it relates to class attendance, tutors and the Academic Enhancement Program or study hall.
Defensive back Bryson Jordan, defensive linemen Fred Mooring and Tahjai Watt, and wide receiver Seth Curtis will not travel to Tampa, Fla., for the season-opener against the USF Bulls. With the departmental levied suspensions, each student-athlete is academically eligible for competition by NCAA standards.
"Last year, we initiated more rigid standards of attendance, punctuality and behavior as it related to our Academic Enhancement Program (AEP), which includes tutor sessions, study hall and classes. Unfortunately, some of our student-athletes did not take this seriously and they are now facing the consequences," said Eaton.
He added, "I want to make sure the young people within our Athletic department understand the meaning of 'student-athlete,' even if it is a difficult lesson for some of them."
Redshirt junior wide receiver Karnorris Benson will serve a two-game suspension from NCAA rules as it relates to academic eligibility requirements stemming from the 2013 fall semester.
Western Carolina opens its 2014 football season against USF at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 30 with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can also be seen on ESPN3.