Standout junior running back Jamaal Williams confirmed Friday that he will miss the first game of BYU’s 2014 season due to an honor code violation.
The 19-year-old Williams was arrested on suspicion of underage drinking in February, and he told reporters that incident, plus an additional incident, resulted in the one-game suspension. BYU’s honor code forbids the use of alcohol.
“Most definitely I am (going to be suspended),” Williams said, per the Salt Lake Tribune. “But after that I can come back for the Texas game. They told me before camp started yesterday. It is something (where) you have to learn from your mistakes and overcome it. It is just one game. It isn’t like half the season. I’ll be OK.”
Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall said after Williams’ underage drinking charges became public in March that the matter would be dealt with internally.
According to the Tribune, there have been rumors about potential suspensions for multiple players stemming from a “July 11 party in Provo,” but only Williams admitted to being disciplined. Additionally, Mendenhall said that he would deal with any other issues “internally.”
“Any other players that need development, I will handle internally, and I will act appropriately,” Mendenhall said. “Any other issues that we have, not only now but in the past, I know will be for the player’s benefit. I am anxious to move forward.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Williams, a native of Fontana, Calif., has rushed for over 2,000 yards in his two seasons with BYU so far. As a true freshman, Williams ran for 775 yards and 12 touchdowns while also catching 27 passes for 315 yards and one score. In 2013, as a sophomore, Williams ran for 1,233 yards and seven scores and registered 18 receptions for 125 yards and was named to the FBS All-Independent Team.
As a three-star recruit in the 2012 class, Williams chose BYU over offers from Boise State, San Diego State, Utah and others.
BYU opens its season on the road against UConn on August 29.
For more BYU news, visit CougarNation.com.
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