QB Suspended for Five Games

While O'Hagan will sit out the beginning of the season, a media poll predicts that Harvard will finish first in the Ivy League in 2006

Joseph L. Abel

Liam O'Hagan '08, pictured here with Harvard football head coach Tim Murphy during last November's triple overtime win over Yale, has been suspended for the first five games of the 2006 season.

NEW HAVEN—Harvard football head coach Tim Murphy announced yesterday that junior quarterback Liam O’Hagan, last year’s starter, has been suspended for the first five games of the 2006 season.

But the pollsters don’t seem to mind—or didn’t realize; they named Harvard their top pick to win the Ivy League this year.

During yesterday’s Ivy League Media Day at Yale University’s golf course in New Haven, Murphy said that O’Hagan’s suspension was due to an unspecified violation of team rules and that the offensive reins will be handed off to untested classmate Chris Pizzotti.

“The bottom line is that Liam O’Hagan has been suspended for the first five games for a violation of team rules,” Murphy said. “It’s not a legal issue, it’s not a public issue, so in that case it’s a private team matter.”

This latest imbroglio comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding former captain Matthew C. Thomas—suspended indefinitely back in June—who Murphy indicated will not suit up at all for the Crimson in 2006. Senior Ryan Tully has replaced Thomas as the 133rd captain of Harvard football.

Thomas has been charged with assault and battery, breaking and entering, and destruction of property relating to a June 5 incident in his ex-girlfriend’s Currier House room.

In a preseason media poll released yesterday, Harvard received nine of 16 first-place votes. That gave it a comfortable margin over perennial favorite Penn and defending champion Brown, predicted to place second and third respectively.

—Staff writer Jonathan Lehman can be reached