Northwestern will be without one of its most versatile weapons to start the season, as the school announced Friday that Venric Mark has been suspended for the first two games of the season.
“I made a mistake and am prepared to deal with the consequences of that,” said Mark in a statement through the school. “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.”
Exactly what that mistake is that Mark made, the school isn't saying. Whatever it is, Mark's absence is a big loss for the Wildcats as they open their season with games against Cal and Northern Illinois.
The good news for Northwestern is that it's used to not having Mark around, as injuries limited him to only three games last season. But when Mark is on the field he makes a large impact as a running back, receiver and returner. During the 2012 season he had 2,166 all-purpose yards and scored 15 touchdowns.