Players suspended, dismissed

By Courtney Linehan

Four athletes have been suspended and another has been dismissed from the Illinois football team for violating the team’s academic policy, the football office will announce today.

Wide receiver Lonnie Hurst will not return to the Illinois football team for academic reasons, a source in the Illinois football office confirmed. Hurst, who would have been a senior in the fall, played in one game in 2005, seeing action in 11 plays against San Jose State. He did not record any statistics.

Four other players, including 2005 starting quarterback Tim Brasic, have been suspended for at least a portion of spring practices which begins March 28, the source said. Brasic, along with Xavier Fulton, Sam Porter and Tremayne Walker will sit out because they failed to meet the team’s academic expectations.

“They know they have to go to class,” Illinois head coach Ron Zook said. “Their first priority is to get an education. You’re here to play football, but you’re also here to get an education. You have got to go to class.”

Brasic started all 11 games of 2005 at quarterback, completing 206-of-377 passes for 1,979 yards. As a junior, he rushed for 420 yards, the most by any Illinois quarterback.

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Fulton started seven games at defensive end before tearing his ACL. He recorded 13 tackles during his sophomore season.

Porter, a linebacker, redshirted the 2005 season. Defensive tackle Walker saw action in five games as a true freshman last fall.

Illinois football’s 15-session spring practice season begins with a workout at 4 p.m. on March 28. The Mom’s Weekend practice is scheduled for 9 a.m., April 8. The spring season will end with the annual Orange and Blue Spring Game on April 22 at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.