CLEMSON – Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney announced star receiver Sammy Watkins will be suspended the first two games of the 2012 season today as punishment for his May arrest.
The ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year will miss the opener against Auburn in Atlanta and the home opener against Ball State after recording Clemson records of 82 receptions and 1,219 receiving yards last season.
The length of the suspension is viewed as a surprisingly strong by some after Swinney waited 91 days to make a decision on Watkins’ punishment, following Watkins’ arrest on drug charges on May 4.
“I told Sammy this past May that there would be a high end (number of games) and a low end and it would be up to him as to the length of his suspension,” Swinney said in a statement. “He has done everything we have asked and then some, so the two-game suspension is the low end. … The game of football, or a game of football, will never be more important to me than teaching young people important life lessons.”
Watkins said he will accept the punishment.
“I accept this suspension,” Watkins said. “One thing we learn in this program is there are consequences for your actions.”