Purdue moving on without LB Beckford
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue has suspended starting linebacker Dwayne Beckford indefinitely, and coach Danny Hope described his future as a Boilermaker as "very questionable.''
Hope said Tuesday that Beckford was arrested for what he described as a violation of Beckford's "probationary status.'' Hope said the school will examine details of what happened and let the legal process take its course before making a final decision.
Beckford, a 6-foot-1, 228-pound senior, was the team's top returning tackler with 91 last year.
The 22-year-old Beckford was arrested in December on a drunken-driving charge, his third brush with Tippecanoe County law enforcement in a year. He was suspended for Purdue's bowl game and for the second semester last year by both the school and the team. He pleaded guilty in July to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages, according to the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
The latest situation didn't sit well with Hope.
"My marching orders to him were to avoid any compromising situations or being around any compromising situations,'' Hope said.
Hope sounded ready to move on. Antwon Higgs, Joe Gilliam and converted quarterback Sean Robinson will play in Beckford's place in the opener Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.
"He's out of the lineup,'' Hope said of Beckford. "Those other guys will compete and play well, and we'll win without Dwayne Beckford as a linebacker on our football team.''
Hope said he still wants Beckford to succeed in life.
"Our prayers are with Dwayne and hope that things work out for him, and I believe that they will and soon, and hope that soon he'll get his diploma and be paying taxes,'' Hope said.
At one point during the news conference, Hope was asked if the situation would be a distraction. Hope made it clear he would do his best to ensure it wouldn't be.
"I think we've got a pretty good handle on it because once I finish answering this question, I won't answer any more about Dwayne,'' he said. "We'll focus on the game and the other players on the football team. So I'm fixing to wrap up that phase of it pretty quick.''
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