Four Tulane football players have been suspended for Thursday’s season opener against Jackson State, and a fifth will miss the first half, coach Curtis Johnson said after practice on Saturday morning.
Senior linebacker Zach Davis, sophomore offensive tackle Todd Jacquet, sophomore cornerback Jordan Batiste and sophomore walk-on offensive lineman Preston Paine will sit out because of unspecified violations of team policy. Johnson added sophomore defensive end Royce LaFrance would be eligible to play in the third quarter.
None of the suspended players were certain starters, but four of them are expected to be significant contributors.
Batiste started nine games at nickelback last year as a true freshman, making 41 tackles. He has practiced with the second team behind senior cornerback Jordan Sullen during preseason camp, which ended Saturday.
Davis was Tulane’s second-leading tackler last year with 78, starting eight games. He has been working behind Dominique Robertson at middle linebacker in camp.
Jacquet has been alternating with Arturo Uzdavinis at first-team left tackle in a close competition. Jacquet started three games as an extra tight end last year.
LaFrance, who started the last two games of 2012 and finished with 20 tackles, backs up Andre Robinson at end.
All of the players are expected to come off suspension for the second game against South Alabama, although Davis said he might be out longer. He was suspended from practice early in training camp along with wide receiver Brent Comardelle.
Comardelle has not been allowed back. Davis missed a day, and Johnson said he hoped he had scared him when he returned.
“I’m just trying to stay active with the team and get the rest of the linebackers ready and help where I can,” Davis said. “I’m not sure (if the suspension will carry over to the South Alabama game). It’s unannounced.”