By MIKE McCALL
August 05, 2012
Wednesday’s check-in and physicals for fall training camp were a reunion for the Southern football team.
But a few members of the family were missing.
Coach Stump Mitchell said four players would not be rejoining the team: lineman Donald Glover, defensive back LaMarkius Pettaway and linebackers Justin Fletcher and Robert Sanchez.
Three, Glover, Pettaway and Fletcher, are because of academic issues.
“These guys have to realize that no matter how much we preach it to go to class and do what they need to do, they have to be the ones who get it done,” Mitchell said.
Of that trio, Pettaway is the biggest loss.
As a freshman last season, he rose to the No. 2 cornerback spot and registered 30 tackles, seven pass breakups, one interception and a fumble recovery in nine games.
He was limited during spring practices because of a low GPA, and the issue eventually got him booted from school.
Mitchell said Pettaway appealed to the university to come back as a student and pay his own way, then try to eventually work his way back onto the field. But the appeal was denied.
Sanchez, on the other hand, had a partial academic scholarship and carried a 3.5-plus GPA while working toward a nursing degree. He was also in the running for the starting middle linebacker spot, but Mitchell said “personal issues” caused him to return home to Texas.
“Robert Sanchez is the one that I really feel pretty bad for,” Mitchell said.
“He had it all together as far as school is concerned, and some personal issues came into his life. I really wish the best for Robert. I wish he could have returned, but I wish the best for him in whatever he chooses to do.”
No place for Dyer at SU
Alabama State made a splash this summer by landing talented running back Isaiah Crowell after he was dismissed from Georgia. Now, there’s another big-time Southeastern Conference back up for grabs, but Mitchell said he won’t be reaching out.
Former Auburn running back Michael Dyer, who broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record, was named the most valuable offensive player of the 2010 national championship and twice ran for more than 1,000 yards, is looking for a new school after being kicked off the team at Arkansas State.
Dyer had previously been suspended indefinitely from Auburn for an unspecified violation of team rules and transferred to Arkansas State, where his dismissal stemmed from a traffic stop that is still being investigated.
“I can’t do that,” Mitchell said of bringing in a player like Dyer. “I’m trying to run a pretty tight ship here, and I want it to be as safe and comfortable as it can possibly be.
“Sometimes when you get those big guys from bigger schools, and they come down to a smaller school, they have more of an impact because they will spend more time around the football players than we will as a coaching staff. They have more influence on the team than I would, and I don’t want to be in that situation.”
Four players out
Mitchell said four players will not be on the field for the team’s first practice on Friday.
Linebacker Daniel Brown (shoulder), defensive lineman Dion Palmer (knee), fullback Lee Mitchell (knee) and freshman linebacker Christopher Scruggs (knee) will be out for at least part of fall camp.
Of that group, Stump Mitchell said Lee Mitchell will likely be the fastest recovery.
The Jaguars will hold a team meeting, NCAA compliance review and conditioning tests on Thursday before opening their first practice on Friday morning.