When the Western Carolina Catamounts travel to Tampa this weekend to play USF in the season opener, they will be without five of their players.
Western Carolina suspended defensive back Bryson Jordan, defensive linemen Fred Mooring and Tahjai Watt, and wide receivers Seth Curtis and Karnorris Benson.
Athletic Director Randy Eaton dealt out four of the suspensions due to players violating academic standards having to do with class attendance, use of tutors and the Academic Advancement Program.
Benson was given his two-game suspension from the NCAA for violating academic eligibility requirements during the fall 2013 semester.
The two biggest losses for the Catamounts this weekend will be the absence of Jordan and Benson. As a true freshman last season, Jordan started in every game for the Catamounts and recorded 53 tackles. Benson was the top receiver last season for Western Carolina, starting every game and hauling in 834 yards and 12 touchdowns.
USF will host Western Carolina this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Raymond James Stadium
— Staff report
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