David Sperry, a starting cornerback for the Navy football team, has left the school after violating academy rules, two sources familiar with the situation said Tuesday.
Sperry, a 5-foot-11, 182-pound senior from Las Vegas, started all 12 games for the Midshipmen last season, finishing third on the team in tackles with 70. He also had two interceptions. Sperry was expected to start again for Navy in 2012.
The departure of Sperry has elevated little-used Jonathan Wev, a 5-9, 196-pound junior, to first on the team's depth chart. Wev started one game last season (against East Carolina) but didn't play in the team's last five games.
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After losing star defensive end Jabaree Tuani as well as cornerback Kwesi Mitchell to graduation, the Midshipmen had two other part-time starters on the defensive line leave the team since last season, when Navy finished 5-7 — its first losing record since 2002.
Defensive end Jamel Dobbs left the academy after the season for unspecified reasons and Joshua Jones, also a defensive end, left the team prior to spring practice to concentrate on finishing some of his academy requirements needed to graduate.
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo could not be reached for comment.
The Midshipmen open the 2012 season Sept. 1 against Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland.