A few weeks after being indefinitely suspended, Vanderbilt running back Brian Kimbrow has now officially been dismissed by the team. In addition, cornerback Paris Head has opted to leave the football program on much better mutual terms.
Kimbrow was suspended by head coach Derek Mason on an indefinite basis in late September for conduct deemed detrimental to the team. His return to the roster appeared unlikely even then, so his dismissal is hardly much of a surprise.
“No one player is bigger than the team,” Mason explained September 22. “It’s always about team.”
It is unknown what the future has for Kimbrow. As far as his eligibility is concerned, Kimbrow has played at least one play in three seasons, leaving him with one year remaining. He has not redshirted, so he could use a redshirt year at another FBS school if he happened to land on a roster at one, preserving one more full season. He only had one rushing attempt this season, but even that is enough to burn a year of eligibility under NCAA rules. Because Kimbrow was dismissed by Vanderbilt, a case could be made to be eligible as the decision to leave the team was not his. That requires some extra paperwork to be filed and Vanderbilt would have to cooperate with the process to agree to let Kimbrow transfer. We’ll cross that bridge when he get there, if necessary.
Unlike Kimbrow, Head’s decision to leave the Commodores comes under better conditions. Mason said Head made the decision to focus on his degree. This decision came as Head determined Vanderbilt football no longer met what he was looking for.
“Paris came here under one coach and one philosophy and inherited another philosophy, so that paradigm shift was a little tough on him,” Mason said, per The Tennessean. “He has chosen just to pursue his degree. There were no conduct issues or anything else with Paris. It was his decision, but we just came to a mutual understanding when we talked about it after the Georgia game.”
Head was recruited under former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and his staff. Franklin accepted the head coaching job at Penn State in January and many members of his coaching staff made the move with him. Vanderbilt hired Mason, who had been the defensive coordinator at Stanford.