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WSU Cougars leading receiver Tavares Martin Jr. reportedly suspended because of temper tantrum, missed practice

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 18, 2017, 4:57 p.m.

In this Sept. 23, 2017 file photo, Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) runs past Nevada for a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
In this Sept. 23, 2017 file photo, Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) runs past Nevada for a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – On Tuesday, The Spokesman-Review reported that Washington State’s leading wide receiver, Tavares Martin Jr., would be suspended for Saturday’s game against Colorado.

Cougars coach Mike Leach didn’t specify a reason for Martin Jr.’s suspension, but the player’s father, Tavares Martin Sr., told Stefanie Loh of the The Seattle Times on Wednesday his son was punished for displaying poor behavior following the team’s 37-3 loss to Cal on Friday in Berkeley. Martin Jr. apparently also missed a practice.

“He was a little angry, saying things hadn’t gone his way the last couple of games. He broke a team rule and needs to be punished for that,” Martin Sr. told the Times. “He just made a mistake and he had to pay a price for it. It was a miscommunication between him and the coaches. He was upset. He said he felt like he should have been more involved in that game. There were a lot of things that took place in the Cal game. T.J. also understands that you lose as a team and you win as a team.”

Following Tuesday’s practice, Leach said the junior wideout – who leads the Cougars in receiving yards (502) and is third in the FBS with seven touchdown catches – was suspended for a violation of team rules.

He arrived at Rogers Field near the end of Tuesday’s workout wearing street clothes and appeared to speak in front of the team as the Cougars were wrapping up.

Martin Jr. was reportedly asked to apologize to the team for his outburst.

“My son has to do better making sure to control his anger,” Martin Sr. said. “He has to. He’s passionate. He’s a real passionate young man. He has to learn to control his emotions, and him and Luke (Falk) and the whole offense got together and talked about it. Him pulling the stunt he pulled, it didn’t achieve nothing. We learn from our mistakes.”

Martin Jr., averaging better than five receptions per game and 13.6 yards per reception, has been easily WSU’s most productive “X” receiver this season. Redshirt senior C.J. Dimry (eight catches, 11 yards) and true freshman Davontavean “Tay” Martin (six catches, 40 yards) are his backups.