Northwestern tailback Venric Mark is transferring for "personal reasons" according to a report Wednesday night from Teddy Greenstein of The Chicago Tribune citing a news release from the school.
The news comes in rather surprising fashion, as just a day earlier the senior from Texas said he wanted to "hit the ground running" after serving a two-game suspension. Mark was suspended for violating team policy. He played just three games last season after leading the Wildcats in rushing with 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He was given the two-game suspension in June and lost his appeal in late July.
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In the report on Wednesday, he said the decision to leave is what's best for him and his family right now:
"I’m devastated to leave my second home, but life is full of challenges and I’ve been presented with another one. Right now this is what is best for me and my family."
Head coach Pat Fitzgerald said it was a "difficult day" for everyone but said the decision is "unquestionably" what's best for Mark:
"We love him, and there is no doubt that we’re going to miss him as both a person and player. But this is unquestionably what is best for Venric and those closest to him."
The school also announced on Wednesday that senior receiver Christian Jones will miss the season with a knee injury but will return as a redshirt in 2015.
- Marc Weinreich