Pac-12 suspends Bucannon for late hit

THE PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE has suspended Washington State safety Deone Bucannon for the first half of Friday night's game at UNLV for a hit that resulted in a concussion for Eastern Washington wide receiver Greg Herd last Saturday.

"In order to appropriately protect our student-athletes, it is imperative that we monitor and when needed, act in situations where a blow to the head of a defenseless player was flagrant and/or unwarranted, especially in situations where the hit occurred well after the play was over," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.

Bucannon received a personal foul penalty for a high hit on Herd, a former Steilacoom High star, after an incomplete pass soared past Herd in the fourth quarter of WSU's 24-20 victory in Pullman. Herd's status for Eastern's next game, Sept. 22 at Weber State, is uncertain.

"It was a late hit, it was a bad hit, and it's something we don't tolerate," WSU coach Mike Leach said after Monday's practice, who added that he had imposed his own internal disciplinary measures (undisclosed) on Bucannon.

Bucannon, a strong safety from Fairfield, Calif., leads the Cougars and is tied for fifth in the Pac-12 with 19 tackles. Fellow junior Anthony Carpenter, who was moved to cornerback last week, was listed as Bucannon's backup on the WSU depth chart released Monday. Former starting free safety Tyree Toomer is another possible replacement.

Bucannon was not made available to the media. On game weeks, Leach typically limits media access prior to the end of the game to three selected players on Mondays.

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