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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho starting QB Blackman booted

Elmo suspended after tweet rapping A.D.

MOSCOW, Idaho – Jason Gesser expected his first week as Idaho’s interim football coach to be hectic. But he probably didn’t think there would be this much drama.

Quarterback Dominique Blackman has been kicked off the team following a failed drug test and tight end Taylor Elmo was suspended – possibly for the rest of the year – for posting an inflammatory message on Twitter in the wake of Robb Akey’s firing, sources told The Spokesman-Review.

Idaho athletic director Rob Spear confirmed Saturday night that Elmo was suspended, but Spear said the redshirt junior could return to the team this year.

“It depends on how Taylor responds,” Spear said.

Elmo’s tweet, which has since been deleted, criticized Spear for cutting ties with Akey last Sunday, with a month left in the season.

“U of idaho is stupid as hell for what they did,” he tweeted. “Fire a man to keep your own job???”

Blackman, a junior starter who has thrown for 1,610 yards and nine touchdowns, was suspended for the first game of the season for undisclosed reasons. A source told The Spokesman-Review that he was booted off the team late this week for a third failed drug test.

Gesser was not available for comment Saturday night.

Blackman transferred to UI last year from Old Dominion and, after sitting out 2011, was the Vandals’ clear-cut top QB in fall camp. He was named starter in mid-August, but sat out the season-opening loss to Eastern Washington.

Elmo has appeared in four games and caught two passes for 11 yards. He played in all 12 games last year.

Akey was replaced last week after going 20-50 in five-plus seasons. Gesser, 33, the offensive coordinator, was put in charge of the program for the final four weeks of the season.

Idaho (1-7) hosts San Jose State on Saturday at 2 p.m. after its lone bye week of the season.

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