Well, so much for the good news portion of today’s installment of the soap opera that is college football. Time to head back to reality.
According to the Centre Daily Times, two members of the Penn State football program were among the 240 individuals arrested or cited for incidents that occurred on “State Patty’s Day” late last month.
Wide receiver Curtis Drake and defensive back Derrick Thomas were cited for disorderly conduct for their role in a fight involving multiple people, including two members of the PSU basketball program. The involvement of the football players in the fracas wasn’t discovered until police posted still images from surveillance cameras that captured the incident, the Daily Times reports.
It’s unclear what, if any punishment will be levied on the players. This was Drake’s second “legal issue” in the past eight months; in July of last year, he was cited for disorderly conduct following what was initially described as an altercation with a PSU basketball player. Oddly enough, that same player — Taran Buie — was cited for the same incident that led to Drake’s latest citation.
All in all, this has been a rather forgettable last few months for Drake. In addition to the off-field stuff, the redshirt sophomore also suffered a season-ending leg injury last summer camp as well as a fractured fibia in the same leg during spring practice this year. His availability for summer camp 2011 is up in the air at this point in time.
Thomas had been suspended for the last nine games of the 2010 season, but the Allentown Morning Call reports that he has reportedly returned to the team.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.