Northwestern RB Venric Mark will miss the first two games of the season after he was suspended Friday afternoon.
“I made a mistake and am prepared to deal with the consequences of that,” Mark said in a Northwestern statement. “There's no one that holds me to a higher standard than the one I hold myself to, so nobody is more disappointed than I am. First and foremost, I feel like I let my teammates down, and that feels the worst. I'm grateful to have another season to compete with this team. My focus moving forward is on working as hard as I can in camp and supporting my teammates in practice and on gamedays so that we can achieve our goals this season.”
The details of the "mistake" were not released.
Mark was granted a fifth-year of eligibility by the Big Ten in January. He played in just three of Northwestern's 12 games last season. In 2012, Mark ran for 1,266 yards and three touchdowns.
While Mark was missing most of the season last year, Northwestern went 5-7 including a 1-7 stretch in its final eight games. Mark wanted to come back and prove himself in 2014. However, he'll be doing that starting the third game of the season.
"That's just how I am,'' he said earlier in the week via WildcatReport.com. "I wasn't satisfied with last year; it really took a toll on me. Knowing I had this opportunity to come back with the amazing defense we had last year, I felt I could help this team win a Big Ten championship. Sitting out last year is just something I'm not used to.
"I've been 100 percent since the end of last year, but they (medical staff) limited me as a precaution. I trust my body now. I guess you call this (without pads) football, but once we put the pads on Thursday, that's real football.''
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