Western Carolina suspends 5 football players for 2014 opener for violating academic standards

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CULLOWHEE, North Carolina — Western Carolina has suspended five football players for violating the athletic department's academic standards, meaning they will miss the season opener at South Florida.

The school announced that defensive back Bryson Jordan, defensive linemen Fred Mooring and Tahjai Watt, and wide receiver Seth Curtis will not travel to Tampa, Florida, for the game on Aug. 30. The school said the four players are academically eligible by NCAA standards.

Athletics Director Randy Eaton said the school implemented more rigid standards of attendance, punctuality and behavior, which the four players failed to meet.

Also, redshirt junior wide receiver Karnorris Benson will serve a two-game suspension related to NCAA academic eligibility requirements stemming from the 2013 fall semester.

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