Bobby Bowden announced after practice Wednesday night that FSU sophomore LB Marcus Ball is suspended for the game Saturday at Virginia Tech.Leaving us with an enigmatic:
Ball, who backs up Dekoda Watson at SLB, was suspended for a "violation of team rules" and he will not travel with the team this weekend. The suspension puts a damper on the good vibes that have surrounded the Seminoles since they beat No. 2 Boston College last Saturday.
Bowden, who spoke tersely and quietly about Ball's suspension, was obviously frustrated by it.
"That's today's nature."
II. Two Maryland players, forwards James Gist and Landon Milbourne, have been suspended for their opening game as a result of a violation of NCAA rules:
Maryland senior James Gist and sophomore Landon Milbourne will be suspended for the Terrapins' men's basketball season opener against North Florida on Sunday because they violated an NCAA rule by playing in an organized offseason game in Ocean City, Maryland Coach Gary Williams said yesterday.
"The players are very aware of the rules," Williams said in a telephone interview. "They know they can't play in any outside competition unless it is a sanctioned summer league. This was just a game organized by someone in Ocean City."
The players participated in one day of the Maryland State 5-on-5 Tournament in April, which violated an NCAA rule that prohibits athletes from competing in unsanctioned competitions outside the university. Williams said Maryland immediately reported the incident to the NCAA, which reviewed it and imposed a one-game suspension because the two players had competed in one unsanctioned game.
"They made a mistake," Williams said. "Obviously they were swayed by some people. We have to be tougher. When you are 19 or 20, you make mistakes. It has nothing to do with their character."
Of course not Gary, of course not. BTW, hows your graduation rate been lately?
III. UW-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter has tossed his leader scorer, guard Avery Smith off the team for the dreaded 'unspecified violation of team rules'. Kudos to Jeter for taking firm action:
MILWAUKEE -- Scoring leader Avery Smith was tossed off Wisconsin-Milwaukee's basketball team Wednesday, a day after his suspension.
Panthers coach Rob Jeter suspended Smith for an unspecified violation of team rules a half hour before Milwaukee opened its season by beating Wisconsin-Parkside in an exhibition game Thursday night. The school said Smith would remain on scholarship.
"It has become clear we need to move forward as a team and a program without Avery," Jeter said in a statement. "I've focused a lot on team chemistry and togetherness and now it is time to move into the season with a group that is committed to those ideas."
IV. Oklahoma State linebacker Chris Collins has been sentenced to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old. He may, however, merely receive probation:
The Oklahoma State sophomore linebacker Chris Collins received a five-year prison sentence yesterday for aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl three years ago. But the jury, in New Boston, Tex., recommended that his punishment be served through probation.
Collins’s sentence was announced after the jury of seven men and five women deliberated for 55 minutes, said Lisa McDermott, a public information officer for the Bowie County district attorney’s office. He had faced a prison sentence ranging from five years to life, but he was eligible for probation as a first-time offender.
Collins was ordered to undergo a psychological examination as part of a presentence investigation. His probation could be for as long as 10 years and will be decided by a judge on Dec. 10, said Kristian Young, a Bowie County assistant district attorney.
At that time, the judge will also decide if Collins must register as a sex offender, Young said, adding that if he violated his probation, the maximum sentence he would serve would be five years. . . .
Gary Shutt, Oklahoma State’s director of communications, said the university was still gathering information about Collins’s sentence and would soon make a decision on whether he would continue to play for the Cowboys (5-4, 3-2 Big 12). . . .
“We can say this: Chris Collins has been a model student and athlete since arriving at Oklahoma State University,” Shutt wrote in an e-mail message. . . .
Given that Oklahoma State and coach Mike Gundy went into this with its eyes wide open, it is difficult to find sympathy for the bad publicity which they are now receiving:
Collins did not play his senior year at Texas High School in Texarkana because of the charge against him. A scholarship offer to Texas was rescinded and he sat out in 2005 before accepting a scholarship to Oklahoma State last season. As a freshman, Collins was Oklahoma State’s second-leading tackler before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in its sixth game. . . .
At the conference’s news media days in July, Gundy defended offering Collins a scholarship and said he investigated Collins’s situation over the telephone.
Gundy said then that he expected Collins to play all of this season and praised him.
“He’s been great,” Gundy said. “We can hardly get him to talk. He never says much at all.”
He added, “I want him to be able to finish his career at Oklahoma State and graduate.”
Before the season, Cowboys defensive end Marque Fountain said Collins had no concerns about the indictment against him.
“He knows what happened,” Fountain said. “He’s not worried about it. The only thing he’s worried about is going to school and playing football.”
Please excuse me while I take a long shower.
UPDATE 9:06 PM:
Chris Collins has been suspended from the Oklahoma State football team. Interim President Marlene Strathe issued a statement:
Chris Collins will not play in the remaining games on the 2007 Oklahoma State University schedule. We will not make a final decision on his long-term status on the OSU football team until we have fully reviewed and considered this matter in the wake of what has happened this week, and had a chance to talk to Chris in detail.What took you so long Dr. Strathe? And what are your thoughts Coach Gundy?