Houston lefthander Seth Romero has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of university and athletic department policy, the team announced Friday.
"At this time, it is important for Seth to focus primarily on his academic and personal life,” Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement.
Houston coach Todd Whitting announced earlier this week that Romero had been removed from the rotation due to a violation of team rules during last weekend's trip to Central Florida. But Friday's punishment goes a step further, removing him from the team completely for the time being.
Romero, a Preseason All-American, was the Cougars' Opening Day starter and was off to a strong start to the season. He is 3-3, 3.05 and leads the country with 76 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. He has risen on draft boards this spring, and ranks 10th on the Top 100 Draft Prospects list.
This is the second time in two years Romero has been suspended from the team. He was also suspended the first two weeks of last season for conduct detrimental to the team. He returned from that ban to go 6-4, 2.29 with 113 strikeouts and 28 walks in 94.1 innings.
Without Romero, Houston (21-8, 2-2) started lefthander Trey Cumbie on Friday against East Carolina. Cumbie delivered a quality start, throwing seven innings and holding the Pirates to three runs (two earned) in the Cougars' 17-3 victory. The sophomore had excelled as Houston's midweek starter this season, and is now 5-0, 1.04 with 36 strikeouts and seven walks in 43.1 innings.