JMU football suspends six student athletes for season opener

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — All-American senior tight end Jonathan Kloosterman has been suspended for the first two games of James Madison’s FCS national title defense for a violation of team rules

Kloosterman’s ban was one of six announced by coach Mike Houston on Thursday.

Kloosterman, a third-team selection on the STATS FCS Preseason All-America Team, will sit out the Sept. 2 season opener at East Carolina and the Sept. 9 home opener against East Tennessee State.

“We hold our players at James Madison to a high standard of accountability, and, as such, they will be held responsible for meeting those standards,” Houston said in a statement. “I look forward to Jonathan working through this situation and returning to us a better person and ready to focus on his commitment to our program. At JMU, we are committed to winning, but more importantly, we are committed to winning the right way.”

Five of Kloosterman’s team-high seven touchdown receptions last season came in the playoffs. He finished with 24 catches for 322 yards.

Later Thursday, Houston told the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg, Virginia, that wide receiver Terrence Alls, cornerback Justin Bethea, linebacker Brandon Hereford and offensive lineman Nick Edwards were suspended for the first four games and defensive lineman Marcus Hawkins is suspended for the season opener.

Each is a senior except for Hawkins, who is a freshman.

Alls and Hereford were two of the seven players James Madison suspended during its 2016 playoff run.