Mar 20 / Rob

Coach Matthews Suspends Four JMU Football Players

JMU announced today that Coach Matthews suspended four members of the JMU football team. The four players are Jace Edwards, Anthony McDaniel, Wyatt Johnson, and Corey Davis and the suspensions were for a “violation of team rules.” Edwards is the biggest name of the group. Last year as a redshirt freshman he started 5 games for the Dukes. Of course he started those games because the #1 QB, Justin Thorpe, was suspended for a violation of team rules himself. Edwards had shoulder surgery and was not scheduled to participate in spring practice anyway. He will serve his suspension by missing the first game of the season against St. Francis. Corey Davis’ suspension will keep him out of 7 Spring practices, while McDaniel and Johnson will be held out for the entire Spring.

Matthews and the administration were typically tight lipped about things and offered no details about what the players did or what rules they violated. Without jumping into baseless speculation, when we read the news our assumption was that these suspensions are related to the fight that Edwards was involved in at a fraternity house last year. The Daily News Records’ Matthew Stoss pretty much confirmed that via Twitter earlier. If you recall, the police investigated the alleged incident and even went so far as to seize certain individuals cell phones. No charges were ever filed against Edwards or anyone else as far as we know.

The timing of the suspensions is a bit curious. The alleged incident took place last year and there hasn’t been any police action taken for months. Maybe something was going on behind the scenes or the football program was looking into things on their own though. In any case, Edwards is the only player who will miss any game action. And while the game he’ll miss is only against St. Francis, it could be costly for him and have an impact on the program.

JMU will be heavily favored against St. Francic and the game is likely to be a blowout. If the Dukes build up a big lead, then Justin Thorpe will surely be pulled early for another QB to come in for mop up duty. Were he not suspended, Edwards would probably get those reps. Now they’re up for grabs. And with a number of big QB recruits coming in, is there a chance we see one of them impress the coaches enough that they get the mop up duty in week one? Given Matthews’ history, it seems unlikely that he’d pull the redshirt of a QB like Ian Fischer in week one. Crazier things have happened though. And if Matthews did do it, and the QB looked good against St. Francis, could he pass Edwards on the depth chart? This little guessing game is probably all for naught. JMU will probably just throw Andre Coble back there and run the wildcat if they build a big lead. You never really know though. This suspension might make the competition for back-up QB a whole lot more interesting.


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  1. 2004 Duke / Mar 21 2012

    The “fight at a fraternity house” story with no actual charges seems a bit suspect. I seriously doubt that has anything to do with the suspension. We used to get in fights all the time (bouncers at Highlawn…Wrestling team….etc.)

    Maybe since MM premptively suspended one of his QB’s, nobody will be watching out for Thorpe’s next inevitable off-season screw-up.

    Seriously though… on the one hand, I give MM credit for laying down the law within the program and showing these premadonna kids their place. On the other hand, it is kind of embarassing as an alum to have my program handing out suspensions to football players on what seems like a year-round basis. I don’t want to be the next (off-the-field) Florida State/Miami/UNC/Ohio St.

  2. anonymous / Mar 22 2012

    i was at that party a whole 14 months ago, and there’s nothing weird about suspensions getting handed down from this. windows ended up getting broken, i think two kids ended up at RMH, and it was just a generally bad fight. i dont know why they were mad or how the fight started, but I do remember finding out that the people that started the fight (evidently, the football players) were at the party, got pissed off and left, and then ended up coming back to start shit. people got threatened, and then a bunch of people ended up outside behind the frat house and that’s where the fight happened. so there you go.

    the DNR has reported that the investigation is closed, but thats not actually true. i think it’s all ongoing, is what a source told me yesterday around 4. much of what is being reported, JB/the people directly under him won’t confirm, but they also won’t deny it either.

  3. 2004 Duke / Mar 26 2012

    …again….nothing that doesn’t happen at least once a semester. Remember, this is the same school where the cops were firing tear gas at people a few years back.

    It’s not just the football players, howver they are held to a higher standard, so I applaud MM for laying down the law.

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