WVU receiver Garvin suspended for Gator Bowl
Posted: Tuesday December 30, 2003 3:27PM; Updated: Tuesday December 30, 2003 3:27PM
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- West Virginia has suspended wide receiver Travis Garvin for the Gator Bowl for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
"He's been sent home," coach Rich Rodriguez said after the Mountaineers' practice Tuesday. "He didn't miss curfew. Other disciplinary factors."
No. 20 West Virginia (8-4) will face No. 23 Maryland (9-3) on Thursday at Alltel Stadium.
Garvin, a senior, was West Virginia's third-leading receiver with 16 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns, including a 93-yarder in a win over Virginia Tech. He also had 14 carries for 135 yards this season.
It marks the end of a tumultuous season for Garvin, who had left the team twice earlier this year.
His 25-year-old cousin, Kerry Ducre, was shot to death in a grocery store parking lot Oct. 3 in Garvin's hometown of Bradenton. Ducre had returned the day of the shooting from a monthlong trip to West Virginia to visit Garvin.
Garvin also left the team for a few days in August for undisclosed personal reasons.
Rodriguez mentioned four other receivers who could get more playing time in Garvin's place: John Pennington, Milo Austin, Miquelle Henderson and Dee Alston.
"It's no pressure to step up," wide receiver Aaron Neal said. "We're all Division I athletes here. We're all ready to do what we came here to do: catch the ball. We're not worried about who's here and who's not."
The move leaves the Mountaineers even thinner at wide receiver. Leading receiver Chris Henry sat out most of Tuesday's practice with recurring back spasms.
"His back is still locked up. It's one of those things where you need time to heal," Rodriguez said. "We'd like to get him in there. But if not, we'll move on."