Linebacker Blake Boyd will not return to the WKU football team for the 2009 season due to academic issues and defensive back Ryan Beard has been suspended for the first two games of the season for a violation of team rules, WKU head coach David Elson announced today.
“Blake made significant contributions to our defense in many ways, and
this is certainly disappointing news for our football team,” Elson
said. “It will also be a challenge not having Ryan for our first two
games against very strong opponents. However, adversity reveals
character and this presents a tremendous opportunity for other players
on our team to step up and fill the void. I feel very good about this
football program in so many ways, and I am confident we will overcome
As a junior in 2008, Boyd started 11 games and ranked second among all Hilltoppers with 67 total tackles while leading the team in tackles for
loss (9.5) and sacks (3.5). Beard, a freshman in 2008, saw action in
11 games with 10 starts and posted 41 total tackles and a team-high
three interceptions. Beard will miss WKU’s opener at Tennessee on
September 5 and home opener against South Florida on September 12
before returning to action against Central Arkansas on September 19.
WKU is the newest of the 120 member Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) in
2009 and will be eligible for a bowl berth and the Sun Belt Conference