One week after the termination of head coach Robb Akey’s contract, Idaho starting quarterback Dominique Blackman and linebacker Conrad Scheidt have been dismissed from the football team for violating team rules, the athletic department announced Sunday.
“It was something that came across on Thursday and he violated team policy rules,” interim coach Jason Gesser said of Blackman. “It was something that has occurred before and it was our decision to let him go. It’s one of those things that you don’t want to do but at the same time you have policies and you have rules for a reason.”
In addition, tight end Taylor Elmo has been suspended from the team for violating athletic department policy, athletic director Rob Spear confirmed Saturday night.
The same day that Akey’s contract was terminated, Elmo let his opinions be known on Twitter.
“U of idaho is stupid as hell for what they did,” Elmo tweeted from his account @TjMO81. “Fire a man to keep your own job???”
The tweet has since been deleted.
Elmo’s indefinite suspension wasn’t solely a result of his Twitter comments, but also derived from multiple things leading up to the tweet, Gesser said.
“Not just of that, it was a handful of things that started leading up to that point and that was one of the things that kind of tipped our hand to say, ‘you know what you have to get your stuff together,'” Gesser said.
Elmo may return to the team prior to the season’s end, according to Spear. Gesser added that he would spend this week practicing with the scout team and helping prepare the defense for San Jose State.
Blackman was suspended for Idaho’s season-opener against Eastern Washington for undisclosed reasons and has since started every game for the Vandals. The junior made his fourth collegiate stop two years ago when he arrived in Moscow after attending Washington, Los Angeles Harbor College and Old Dominion.
Gesser expects senior quarterback Logan Bushnell to start for Idaho on Saturday, but junior Taylor Davis will also get repetitions throughout the game.
“Logan’s going to start out the game, he’s our No. 2 guy, he’ll start the game off,” Gesser said. “Both him and Taylor will both take reps during this week of practice and Taylor will see reps in the game, probably somewhere in the second quarter he’ll get a series or two.”
Blackman’s absence against the Eagles vacated the starting spot, which was given to Bushnell. Blackman and junior Taylor Davis fought for Idaho’s starting role throughout spring and fall camp before Akey named Blackman his starter 17 days ahead of the season-opener.
Against EWU, Bushnell was 10 of 24 with 123 yards and one interception. Davis came in late in the fourth quarter to complete 6 of 8 passes for 41 yards.
Davis started for the Vandals at SJSU a year ago, when Idaho picked up its only win against a Division 1 opposition during the 2011 campaign.
Scheidt was a mainstay on the line backing corps but the senior suffered a face fracture injury earlier in the season and it was likely he would sit out the remainder of the year.
Both Scheidt and Blackman have the opportunity to transfer, but because of NCAA regulations, they are no longer eligible to play Division 1 football.
Theo Lawson can be reached at email@example.com