James Madison Suspends Seven for FCS Title Game

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The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)


James Madison has suspended seven football players for undisclosed reasons as the Dukes prepare to play in the FCS championship game against Youngstown State on Jan. 7.

Junior linebacker Brandon Hereford and junior wide receiver Terrence Alls are the only players first-year coach Mike Houston confirmed as having been suspended indefinitely. The school declined to name the other five.

Hereford led the team with 83 tackles during the regular season and Alls, a transfer from Duke who was dismissed from the Blue Devils for undisclosed reasons in November 2015, is the team's second-best receiver with 39 catches for 575 yards.

Neither Hereford nor Alls played in Friday's semifinal at North Dakota State. James Madison beat the top-seeded Bison 27-17 to advance to the championship game in Frisco, Texas.

Houston said at his fan and press luncheon Monday that he did not anticipate any of the suspended players would be back for the title game.

Houston, in a statement released by JMU on Tuesday, said: "We have very high expectations in terms of standards of conduct for our student-athletes and our football program who represent (JMU). Unfortunately, we have a few student-athletes who have not met those standards and we will hold them accountable. They did not compete against North Dakota State and have been suspended indefinitely."

The school said it would have no further comment.

JMU isn't the only finalist with suspension issues. Earlier this month, Ohio TV station WKBN reported that four to five Youngstown State players also are suspended.

James Madison (13-1) will make its second appearance in the FCS final, having won it in 2004.

Youngstown State (12-3), currently led by former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, won four national titles in the 1990s, when FCS was known as Division I-AA.

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December 21, 2016


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