Air Force is today mourning the loss of one of the most beloved players in the football program’s history.
The service academy confirmed Tuesday that Dee Dowis was killed in a vehicle accident in Gwinnett City., Ga., Monday. Dowis was 48 years old, and is survived by his wife Tracie and two children.
Dowis was a three-year letterman and graduated from the Academy in 1990.
“I don’t have adequate words to describe what a personal loss this is for me,” Dowis’ head coach, Fisher DeBerry, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “It’s a sad day for Falcon football. I’m sure so many people who enjoyed watching him play feel as empty as I do today. …
“I am shocked. So saddened. My heart’s broken. It bleeds for Tracie and Madeline and Grant, Dee’s mother and family and for all our Falcon brothers. What a legacy he leaves for all of us and what it means to be a wonderful husband, devoted father, a Christian businessman and leader like he was. But he has secured his eternal home and one day we’ll be able to relive a lot of those Falcons days that we all had together.”
— Air Force Football (@AFFootball) August 30, 2016
Dowis came to the Falcons as a 150-pound quarterback in the mid-eighties and left as the academy’s all-time leading rusher with 3,612 yards rushing, a record that still remains. His sixth-place finish in the 1989 Heisman Trophy voting is the highest finish ever for a Falcon, and made him one of three service academy players to finish that high in the voting since Roger Staubach of Navy took home the honor in 1963.
The season that led to that finish, 1,286 yards rushing and 1,285 passing, marked just the fifth time a player had topped 1,000 yards both passing and rushing in the same season. In 2009, Dowis was a member of the second class inducted into the Air Force Athletic Hall of Fame.
One of Dowis’ teammates during his time at the Academy was Troy Calhoun, the Falcons’ current head football coach. Obviously, Dowis’ passing had a significant impact on the coach.
“He was the most electric, dynamic and exciting football player probably in the history of service academy football, ever. And yet a better person,” Calhoun told the Gazette. “You just knew he was going to be quite, quite accomplished no matter what he did. Hands down the nicest and most humble human being, period.”
Our prayers and thoughts are with the Dowis and @AFFootball family. We lost a great American & one of the best QB’s of all time. RIP brother
— Ken Niumatalolo (@NAVYCoachKen) August 30, 2016
And now we know a little more of the rest of the story, and it’s potentially serious for one member of the USC football program.
Monday night, Clay Helton revealed that Osa Masina has been suspended for his team’s season opener against Alabama this weekend. The head coach gave no specific reason or reasons for the sanctions being placed on the linebacker, although a school official subsequently described it as an unspecified violation of team rules.
However, the FOX affiliate out of Salt Lake City is reporting that Masina, a Utah native, is being investigated over sexual assault allegations. The probe stems from an alleged incident or incidents that allegedly took place over the summer in Salt Lake County.
From the television station’s report:
Cottonwood Heights Police have confirmed the ongoing investigation but have not released details about the alleged crime.
Cottonwood Heights PD, with the help of the Los Angeles Police Dept., served a search warrant last week at a USC practice facility in Los Angeles.
At this point, no charges have been filed. All questions to Masina’s parents were referred to the defense attorney representing their son.
Masina (pictured, left) was a five-star 2015 recruit who was the top-rated player at any position in the state of Utah. He played in 12 games as a true freshman last season and was credited with 25 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, with the highlight of his first year as a Trojan coming on a fumble return for a touchdown in the season-opening win over Arkansas State.
On the preseason depth chart released a week ago, Masina was listed as a backup to starting inside linebacker Michael Hutchings.
The roller coaster career of Dylan Sumner-Gardner at Boise State is on a downward trajectory yet again.
Tuesday, Boise announced that Sumner-Gardner (pictured, No. 29) has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. According to the school’s release, the suspension stems from the defensive back “failing to meet NCAA football academic eligibility requirements.”
Sumner-Gardner will kiss games against Louisiana-Lafayette, Washington State, Oregon State and Utah State. Provided the current timeline holds, Sumner-Gardner would be eligible to return for the New Mexico game Oct. 7.
After playing in 13 games as a true freshman, Sumner-Gardner started the first four games last year before going down with a season-ending ankle injury. In November he was arrested on a misdemeanor drug charge, then didn’t travel to BSU’s Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois in late December because of what was described as an unspecified violation of team rules. His status for the upcoming season has been a question mark throughout the offseason.
Sumner-Gardner, a four-star 2014 prospect who was the Broncos’ highest-rated recruit in that class, had been a projected starter at safety; with the junior sidelined, Cameron Hartsfield is listed as the starter instead.
Sadly, a non-football health issue will bring to an end Josh Mabin‘s football-playing career.
On his personal Twitter account, Mabin announced that he will be forced to retire from the sport due to a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The Mayo Clinic’s website describes the disease as one in which “the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied),” with the thickened heart muscle making it harder for the heart to pump blood. The condition could cause “problems in the heart’s electrical system, resulting in life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).”
Oklahoma State has yet to publicly address the linebacker’s status with the program moving forward.
New Beginnings. pic.twitter.com/zNuoOGFrbA
— Joshua Mabin (@OGClarkKent) August 29, 2016
It’s likely Mabin will remain on scholarship at OSU, but won’t count against the Cowboys’ 85-man limit.
A four-star 2014 recruit, Mabin was rated as the No. 18 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 54 player at any position in the state of Texas. After redshirting as a true freshman, Mabin played in five games last season. He was credited with four tackles in that limited action.
Mabin was listed as the backup middle linebacker to starter Chad Whitener on the depth chart OSU released last week.