South Florida Running Back Mike Ford Suspended

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IAugust 17, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Running back Mike Ford #26 of the University of South Florida Bulls rushes upfield against the North Carolina Tar Hells at Raymond James Stadium on September 22, 2007 in Tampa, Florida.  USF won 37-10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Running back Mike Ford is expected to be a powerful part of the University of South Florida ground game as the 2009 season rapidly approaches.

He will not, however, play in the team's season opener at home against Wofford on Sept. 5 and will miss the road trip to Western Kentucky the following week.

Ford has been hit with a two game suspension by head coach Jim Leavitt for unspecified violation of team rules.

A terse, one paragraph statement from assistant AD Chris Freet the athletic department issued Monday morning read:

"Coach Leavitt has asked me to announce that Mike Ford will not play in the first two games of the 2009 season for a violation of team rules."

The announcement comes after a weekend scrimmage that saw another running back, Jamar Taylor of Lakeland go down with a knee injury. There is no further information on the extent of Taylor's injury, but early indications were that it could be a possible MCL or ACL problem.

USF continues its summer practice this week in preparation for the opener, which is now only 19 days away.

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