Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jacoby Thomas dismissed from KU football team

QB battle rages on and two walk-ons earn scholarships

Kansas head coach Turner Gill talks with media members before practice Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill talks with media members before practice Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010.


Audio clip

KU football coach Turner Gill: Aug. 17

The Kansas University football team welcomed the media to campus before Tuesday's practice and KU coach Turner Gill shared some news about his team before practice began.

Here are the highlights:

  • Red-shirt freshman linebacker Jacoby Thomas has been removed from the team for academic reasons. Thomas, whom Gill said was battling for legitimate playing time, becomes the second academic casualty this spring, as defensive end Travis Stephens was kicked off the squad at the start of fall camp, also for academic reasons. The loss of Thomas, 6-1, 243 from Texarkana, Texas, leaves an even bigger hole at linebacker for the Jayhawks, who recently lost sophomore Huldon Tharp to a season-ending foot injury.

  • Gill also announced Tuesday that true freshman Ed Fink, also a linebacker, would miss the 2010 season because of injury. That leaves the Jayhawks with Drew Dudley, Steven Johnson and Justin Springer as the only known commodities at linebacker. Gill said red-shirt freshman Steve Mestan has looked good during the last couple of weeks and likely has played himself into the top four or five in the linebacker rotation.

  • No news on the quarterback battle between sophomore Kale Pick and red-shirt freshman Jordan Webb. Gill said the staff was still in a heavy evaluation period at that position — as well as most others — and that a decision would likely be made sometime next week as the team begins preparation for its Sept. 4 season opener. However, Gill maintained his stance that the naming of a starting QB could go down to the day before the opener.

  • A pair of walk-ons got some great news this week, as offensive lineman Alex Smith and wide receiver Reece Petty both earned scholarships for the 2010 season, Gill announced Tuesday. Gill said a number of factors went into the decision to award Smith and Petty — both seniors — the scholarships. At the top of the list, however, were strong work ethic, outstanding academic standing and the fact that, as seniors, they've shown great loyalty to the KU program.

For more from Tuesday's practice, stay tuned in to or pick up a copy of Wednesday's Journal-World.


rolo2383 11 years, 9 months ago

It's sad not to hear Josh Richardson is getting no mention as far as getting any playing time at LB.

KCHawk81 11 years, 9 months ago

The article doesn't mention him, but I assume he's the other of the "top four or five" competing for playing time along with Springer, Dudley, Johnson, and Mestan. The original depth chart listed Richardson as second-string weak-side backer behind Tharp. After all the injuries and dismissals at LB, I'd say he'd better keep his helmet close by.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 9 months ago

I applaud Coach Gill for maintaining his values and requiring the same level of academic accomplishment out of each of his players, regardless of their position or possible playing time, but I'm starting to get nervous about our linebackers. Considering at least three will play at a time, our depth--what little there was--is officially gone.

I think our offense will surprise some people, but the defense now has me officially worried. Still, I'm looking forward to the start of the season. You never know what will happen.

Joe Joseph 11 years, 9 months ago

I bet Angus Quigley would make a good linebacker.

youowethehawks 11 years, 9 months ago

Dear lord, I shudder to think what it would have taken to get less than a 2.0 in Communications (one of the most popular majors for athletes). I'll preempt anyone who might take a shot at AA Studies hereafter. The hardest class I took at KU was one entitled, Hip Hop Literature, no jokes. Harder than Calc, Game Theory or Constitutional Law.

Not knowing the details of their ineligibility, I hope the student athletes in question have a chance to come back.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 9 months ago

Isn't it the same thing? If you are ineligible, you are off the team. I wouldn't think it indicates that they could never come back if they got their grades up again. Of course, getting another scholarship might be tricky.

buckleyhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

It's not the same thing...if you are declared ineligible, you are still officially on the team, you just can't play.

I agree classof02, college is showing up, (occasionally) paying attention and turning your work in on time. You might do poorly in hard classes, but there are enough classes that you can eke out a B to do alright cumulatively (not to mention AD academic advisors are fairly adept at placing "high-risk" kids in enough classes where the "show-up" factor accounts for a substantial amount of the overall grade).

On the QB spot, I know it's nice to have competition roll on up until the season starts, but isn't it also a good thing if the QB and the offense knows who the on-field "leader" is to begin the season? Hopefully this means they are both performing at a high level, but still one would hope that one of the two takes advantage of the situation early and becomes the clear-cut favorite. Somewhat worrisome...

KU_FanSince75 11 years, 9 months ago

Somebody help me out------ Not naming a quarterback until very late-- is that to "put a monkey wrench" in North Dakota State's game planning, or, is it because there's a heated battle going on between Pick and Webb? I have to agree with buckleyhawk-- kind of worrisome if we do not have a clear-cut favorite at QB.

DevilHawk 11 years, 9 months ago

My guess is that neither one has been clearly dominant. It means that both are at about the same level - which could be a sign that we have two very good QBs or a sign that we have two very average QBs. Considering that they do have some other competition, I tend to favor the former.

Gill should know plenty about QBs, and I highly doubt that he will do QB by committee. Instead, I think that he will name Pick as the starter and see how Webb does in any available clean-up time.

Kevin Studer 11 years, 9 months ago

It's true what they say: If you have 2 quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks.

Aaron Carpenter 11 years, 9 months ago

cusack- So basically your saying that one qb has to be substantially better than the other right now….and this is worrisome? I think you should be happy that there are some good qb's in the mix. I could be wrong but is seems absurd to think that they HAVE to have a clear cut favorite right now. Forget competition making guys better, it's apparently knowing they are the best well before the first game. Good idea……At least Barman isn't in the mix anymore.

KU_Alumn_2000 11 years, 9 months ago

Great - Another player on defense is gone. Our defense is would not surprise me one bit if we finish last in either yards allowed or points allowed. We lack talent up front...and now we're super thin. These guys just keep dropping like flies. Would be nice to hear about some high level d-linemen or linebacker recruits making commitments at some point.

hawk316 11 years, 9 months ago

It's good to know that we have people on this site who know how to pray. If we continue to lose players to injury and for academic reasons, we will definitely need some divine help from the Lord.

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