PULLMAN – Bad news has come in waves for fans of the Washington State football team the last five days.
On Friday, the Cougars were upset by Cal. On Sunday, athletic director Bill Moos bolted for a job at Nebraska. On Tuesday, news broke that WSU’s top wide receiver wouldn’t play in the upcoming game against Colorado.
Tavares Martin Jr., tied for third nationally with seven touchdown catches, has been suspended for a violation of team rules and won’t be available Saturday when the Cougars host the Buffaloes at Martin Stadium.
Coach Mike Leach confirmed that Martin Jr. had been suspended to The Spokesman-Review following Tuesday’s practice in Pullman, but did not specify the rule(s) Martin Jr. violated. The junior outside receiver appeared to have not participated in practice and walked off the field in street clothes Tuesday evening.
Martin Jr. has been one of the most productive offensive players in the country this season. He’s tied with UCLA’s Darren Andrews for the Pac-12 lead in touchdown receptions and ranks eighth in the conference with 71.7 receiving yards per game.
The third-year player from Belle Glade, Florida, has 502 receiving yards to lead all WSU players and had a career-high 194 yards on 10 catches in a game against Oregon State earlier this season. Six of his seven touchdown catches came in a three-game span against OSU, Nevada and USC.
The listed backup for Martin Jr. at “X” receiver is C.J. Dimry. Dimry’s caught eight passes for 111 yards this season, but he’s yet to haul in a touchdown. Renard Bell is second to Martin Jr. in receiving yards, with 389, and running back Jamal Morrow is second on the team with five TD catches.
Martin Jr. has played in 31 career games and hasn’t missed one since his freshman season.