The Purdue Boilermakers‘ start to the upcoming season will not be without controversy as the team has suspended starting linebacker Dwayne Beckford indefinitely. Coach Danny Hope spoke to the media on Tuesday and said Beckford was arrested for an offense that violated his probationary status.
The 22-year-old senior was arrested in December on a charge of drunken driving, which caused him to be suspended for the Boilermakers bowl game and the second semester of school. The incident was Beckford’s third run in with local Tippecanoe County law enforcement in a year. According to the Lafayette Journal and Courier, Beckford pleaded guilty in July to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder finished second on the squad last year with 91 tackles and would have been the team’s leading returning tackler for the 2012 season. In 2011 Beckford appeared in 12 games and made eight starts, recording three sacks and an interception. He also received honorable All-Big Ten mention.
Hope further indicated that Beckford returning to the team at some point would be questionable and he would do his best to make sure the situation would not be a distraction to the team. With five of the Boilermakers’ first six games being played at home, it will be crucial for them to take advantage of the favorable scheduling and get off to a good start. Antwon Higgs, Joe Gilliam and Sean Robinson will all see time in Beckford’s place on Saturday as Purdue opens up their season against Eastern Kentucky.