JMU suspends seven football players before FCS National Championship Game

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Seven James Madison football players have been suspended indefinitely, the school announced Monday night.

Head coach Mike Houston said during his weekly press conference Tuesday that they will not return in time for the FCS national championship game in Frisco, Texas on January 7.

“We have very high expectations in terms of standards of conduct for our student-athletes and our football program and how they represent James Madison University,” Houston said in a written statement released Tuesday. “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.”

Houston and the school’s athletics department did not share the reasons for the disciplinary actions taken and have declined to comment further on the suspensions.

JMU confirmed Monday night that wide receiver Terrence Alls and linebacker Brandon Hereford are among the seven that were suspended. Neither player participated in Friday’s win over North Dakota State. The school said it would not release or confirm any more names.

JMU linebacker Brandon Hereford (49), a Glen Allen High School graduate, will miss the 2017 FCS National Championship after being suspended Tuesday morning. Hereford was the Dukes' leading tackler during the regular season.
JMU linebacker Brandon Hereford (49), a Glen Allen High School graduate, will miss the 2017 FCS National Championship after being suspended Tuesday morning. Hereford was the Dukes’ leading tackler during the regular season.

The suspensions were first reported by the Daily News-Record on Monday night.

Last Thursday, WHSV reached out to JMU regarding potential suspensions. Kevin Warner, the school’s assistant athletic director for communications, said “We don’t have any news related to personnel to share at this time.”

Alls recorded 39 catches, five touchdown receptions and 575 yards receiving in 13 games this season. Hereford recorded 96 tackles this season, which ranks second on the team behind Gage Steele.

James Madison plays Youngstown State on January 7 in Frisco, Texas. The Dukes are seeking their second national championship in program history.