When Tulsa takes to the field to begin Bill Blankenship‘s second season as the Golden Hurricanes’ head coach, they’ll do so without the services of one of their top returning players on the defensive side of the ball.
And, as it turns out, two more after that for good measure.
Thanks to a violation of, of course, unspecified team rules, Tulsa announced Tuesday that linebacker Shawn Jackson (pictured, right) has been suspended for the first three games of the 2012 season. Because of the suspension, the junior will be unavailable for non-conference games versus Iowa State (road) and Nicholls State (home) and the Conference USA opener against Tulane in Tulsa.
“There are consequences to our decisions and sometimes bad decisions have harsh penalties,” said Blankenship in a statement. “I expect that Shawn will learn from this situation and become better for it.
“We need for Shawn Jackson to be a leader on and off the field, and I firmly believe that he has the character, determination and work ethic to be just that for this football team.”
Jackson started all 13 games in 2011, finishing second on the team in tackles. he was also second in tackles for loss (11) and sacks (4.5).
Overall the past two years, Jackson has started 23 of the 26 games in which he has played.