Northwestern suspended senior running back Venric Mark for two games Friday. In a statement, the school said the suspension was for a "violation of team policy" and that he will miss home games against Cal and Northern Illinois.
In 2012, Mark was named a first-team All-American at punt returner by the Football Writers Association of America, NU's first All-American since 2005. That year he ran for 1,366 yards and 12 TDs and posted a 18.7-yard average on punt returns, scoring twice. That season Northwestern defeated Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl for the program's first bowl victory since 1948.
Mark was limited to just three games in 2013 due to various injuries. He sought and received a medical hardship waiver, granting him a fifth year of eligibility.
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Mark released a statement through the university:
"I made a mistake and am prepared to deal with the consequences of that,” said Mark. “There’s no one that holds me to a higher standard than the one I hold myself to, so nobody is more disappointed than I am. First and foremost, I feel like I let my teammates down, and that feels the worst. I’m grateful to have another season to compete with this team. My focus moving forward is on working as hard as I can in camp and supporting my teammates in practice and on gamedays so that we can achieve our goals this season."
- Alex Hampl