Troy’s football program is mourning the tragic loss of Jadarius Garner, who passed away near his home town of Clarksdale, Mississippi on Thursday. Mississippi State Police have not released a cause of death at this time.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to Jadarius’ family in this time of grief,” Troy football head coach Larry Blakeney said in a statement released by the school. “Jadarius was a well-respected member of our football team and his loss will be felt by all of us.”
Garner, a defensive end, played his second season with the program following a transfer from a junior college. According to a release from Troy, he appeared in all 12 games played by the Trojans this season. His performance this season was highlighted in Troy’s September 7 blowout of Savannah State. Garner led the Trojans with six tackles, including credit for two sacks and five solo tackles and he forced two fumbles. He earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.
“I wanna play well every game,” Garner said after that game. “I wanna be great.”
Garner was 20 years old.
UPDATE (10:43 p.m. ET): The Associated Press is reporting some awful details about Garner’s death. Mississippi Highway Patrol say Garner’s body was found on the side of U.S. Highway 61 in Boliver County after two cars had run him over. Garner was pronounced dead on the scene.
Via social media, Jim Harbaugh has attempted to walk back some of his strong talk.
Monday, the Michigan head coach was asked to comment on one of his former San Francisco 49er players, Colin Kaepernick, who kicked up quite the controversy this past week by sitting down during the playing of the national anthem to protest what he believes to be the mistreatment of African-Americans in this country. Not surprisingly, the outspoken Harbaugh didn’t mince many words.
As it turns out, Pankey won’t be alone on the suspension sidelines as WVMetroNews.com is reporting that linebacker Xavier Preston will be suspended for the opener as well. No reason has been given for the punitive measure, and the football program has yet to confirm it.
The third-year sophomore would be eligible to return for the Sept. 10 Youngstown State game.
Preston played in 13 games last season. He has been described as the heir apparent to Nick Kwiatkowski at outside linebacker for the Mountaineers.
Jim Harbaugh doesn’t respect Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit anthem out
The latest sports controversy has reached college football’s borders.
Colin Kaepernick, as you might have heard, kicked up quite the controversy last week by declining to stand during the playing of the National Anthem prior to a San Francisco 49ers preseason game. The former Nevada quarterback’s words explaining to sit the anthem out served to add fuel to the raging firestorm.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Kaepernick has spent his entire NFL career with the 49ers, and his first coach at the professional level was Jim Harbaugh. Now the head coach at Michigan, Harbaugh was asked Monday about Kaepernick, who helped lead Harbaugh’s club to the NFC championship game in 2013, and his decision to sit on the bench while the anthem played.
“I acknowledge his right to do that,” Harbaugh said according mlive.com. “But I don’t respect the motivation or the action.”
While more forceful and tinged with personal opinion, Harbaugh’s comments are somewhat in line those made by a former Oregon Ducks head coach who’s now in charge of the 49ers.
“We recognize his right to do that,” Chip Kelly said according to the Sacramento Bee. “It’s not our right to tell him not to do something. That’s his right as a citizen.”