The long road back for two New Mexico football players is complete.
Tuesday, UNM’s athletic director, Paul Krebs, confirmed that running back Crusoe Gongbay and cornerback SaQwan Edwards have been reinstated to the Lobos football team. Gongbay was originally charged with two counts each of second-degree criminal sexual penetration and one count for kidnapping. Gongbay turned himself in to campus police back in April. Edwards was later charged for one count of criminal sexual penetration.
In June, however, the charges against both players were dropped due to what was described as a botched investigation, although there was still the possibility the charges could be refiled. Earlier this month, the charges were summarily dismissed by the district attorney’s office, clearing the path for the return of the players.
Last season, Gongbay was third on the team in rushing yards (592) and rushing touchdowns (six). He’s the team’s leading returning rusher at the running back position, and was expected to be the Lobos’ starter this season.
In 2012, Edwards played in eight games as a wide receiver. After moving to the defensive secondary, Edwards started 11 games at corner in 2013.
A botched investigation conducted by the University of New Mexico and investigators is being blamed by a defense attorney for the dropping of rape charges against a New Mexico football player.
New Mexico running back Crusoe Gongbay learned today rape charges will not be pursued by prosecutors according to the Bernalillo County district attorney. While charges may not be pursued at this time, the Associated Press reports charges may be refiled pending an investigation. Another New Mexico player, cornerback SaQwan Edwards, is expected to have charges dropped later this week, but nothing has officially changed just yet.
George Anthony, a defense attorney, says the school and investigators are to blame for botching the investigation and the case from the start. Because of that, Anthony says the charges should have been dismissed.
Gongbay was originally charged with two counts each of second-degree criminal sexual penetration and one count for kidnapping. Gongbay turned himself in to campus police back in April. Edwards was later charged for one count of criminal sexual penetration.
Time will ultimately be the judge for what happens next. Gongbay and Edwards were each indefinitely suspended by the football program in April, per team policy.
On his fourth college campus in four years, Ricardo Young could be looking to make it an imperfect “drive for five in five” in 2014.
Maryland confirmed Tuesday that the quarterback-turned-wide receiver has been suspended for the Terps’ Military Bowl against Marshall Friday. Because of the suspension, Young did not travel with the team to Washington D.C.
Other than the ubiquitous “violation of team rules,” no reason for the punitive measure was given.
The suspension was the latest low point for a player who was a highly-rated dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2010.
Signing with Virginia Tech that year, Young redshirted his true freshman season before transferring from the Hokies in August of 2011 to New Mexico. He left the Lobos after then-head coach and current Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley was fired, spending part of 2012 at an Iowa community college before reuniting with Locksley and signing with Maryland in June of 2012.
Young did not play in 2012, and played only sparingly this season as he was ultimately moved to receiver due to a spate of injuries that slammed headfirst into the position.
The Washington Post hinted that yet another move could possibly be in Young’s future.
If Young, a junior, has enough credits to graduate this spring, he could conceivably seek another school at which to finish out his college career, though the suspension, the team official said, is only for the Military Bowl.
(Photo credit: Maryland athletics)
Already this season — in the same game — Maryland has lost its top two wide receivers. Now, one of the receivers who helped fill those immense shoes will find himself on the sidelines as well.
On Thursday’s injury report ahead of the game against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Levern Jacobs was ruled out due to the lingering effects of a concussion. Jacobs suffered the head injury during last Saturday’s double-digit loss to Syracuse.
Jacobs is third on the team, and tops among active pass-catchers, with 27 receptions for 489 yards.
Additionally, fellow receiver DeAndre Lane will not play against the Hokies due to a hamstring injury. As the Washington Post notes, the injuries leave the Terps with just five healthy receivers, one of whom, former Hokie Ricardo Young, was converted from quarterback recently. That quintet, the Post states, have totaled just 39 career receptions for 537 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Deon Long and Stefon Diggs, the two starting receivers who broke bones in their legs in the same mid-October game, remain one-two in receptions and receiving yards despite missing the past month of the season.
Finally, some good news at the quarterback position for Maryland.
As expected, it was reported Tuesday that quarterback C.J. Brown has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA. The additional year comes after the player and the school applied for a medical hardship waiver.
Counting the 2013 season, Brown will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
During his time with the Terrapins, Brown suffered two season-ending injuries. In 2010, Brown broke his collarbone in the season opener and missed the remainder of the year. Last year, and carrying the front-runner label for the starting job, Brown suffered a torn ACL during summer camp.
He was one of four Terps quarterbacks to suffer season-ending injuries in 2012.
As far as the state of the position this offseason, the Baltimore Sun writes that “Ricardo Young has been taking many of the [first-team] practice snaps this spring while Brown works to come back.” Young transferred to Maryland in June of last year from New Mexico by way of Virginia Tech and the JUCO ranks.
The redshirt junior will start Maryland’s spring game Friday.