David Hawbaker / The Daily Evergreen
The WSU Cougars will play without leading tackler Deone Bucannon for the first half of their game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on Friday.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott decided to suspend the junior safety for his vicious hit on Eastern Washington wider receiver Greg Herd in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game. Bucannon leveled the defenseless receiver after Eagles’ quarterback Kyle Padron overthrew Herd on a route across the middle of the field. The hit left Herd with a concussion and ignited a scuffle between EWU and WSU players who were on the field. The hit drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty and plenty of reaction from an irate Eastern crowd, but Bucannon was not ejected.
After reviewing the video, Scott issued this statement:
“While Mr. Bucannon was penalized on the field, I have deemed it necessary to add a half-game suspension,"Scott said."This disciplinary action was part of our weekly review of all targeting and unnecessary roughness hits. In order to appropriately protect our student-athletes, it is imperative that we monitor and when needed, act in situations where a blow to the head of a defenseless player was flagrant and/or unwarranted, especially in situations where the hit occurred well after the play was over.”
According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Head Coach Mike Leach said Bucannon was “put through some fairly lengthy maneuvers as punishment,” and the coaching staff “can see where action (from the Pac-12) was justified.”
Defensive Coordinator Mike Breske said former starter Tyree Toomer and Casey Locker are expected to handle Bucannon’s duties for the first half.