KU will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2008 Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Tempe, Ariz. — The Kansas University football team’s quest for consecutive bowl victories was dealt a significant blow this week, when coach Mark Mangino suspended cornerback Justin Thornton for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
Thornton did not make the trip to Tempe, Ariz., for Wednesday's Insight Bowl, according to a team spokesman, and will not be present when the Jayhawks take on Minnesota at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Sun Devil Stadium.
A junior from St. Joseph, Mo., Thornton started all 12 games for the Jayhawks this season, recording 63 tackles, an interception and a team-high 11 pass break ups.
“We talked to him before we left,” said senior linebacker James Holt. “He understood (the decision). He just has to straighten up a little bit and come back his senior year and show that he's a leader.”
In his spot, senior backup Kendrick Harper has been taking reps at the position and will likely get the start in Thornton's place.
“(Harper) has been working at the spot, and he's been doing very well,” said Holt. “... It's a little bit different. They have a little different style of play. Thornton's a little more aggressive and stuff, but (Harper's) doing well back there. He's cutting to the ball and running around. Both of those guys are well capable of playing there.”