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MSUM football coach placed on paid leave

MOORHEAD -- Minnesota State Moorhead head football coach Damon Tomeo has been placed temporarily on paid administrative leave.

MSUM athletic director Doug Peters announced the decision Friday. Dragons offensive coordinator Joel Beard has been appointed interim head coach.

"He is not acting as head coach right now," Peters said of Tomeo. "I have named Joel Beard as the interim head coach."

Tomeo didn't return a message seeking comment.

The Dragons host the University of Mary at 2 p.m. today at Alex Nemzek Stadium. Tomeo had been suspended for today's game earlier this week due to an NCAA secondary violation.

Peters said Tomeo being placed on paid leave had nothing to do with the NCAA violation.

Peters didn't give any specifics on why Tomeo was put on leave. Peters said he couldn't comment about personnel matters due to state law.

"It's pretty restrictive of what I can say and what information I can share," Peters said.

Tomeo signed a four-year contract with MSUM in December 2006 when he was named full-time head coach. Tomeo was interim MSUM head coach for a season prior to that.

Beard has no prior head coaching experience at the college level.

"I'm confident in coach Beard and the staff to lead this program in a direction that's positive," Peters said. "I think coach Beard has the skills and abilities to lead this group."