Michigan State Benches Five Players, Including Key Defenders
Defensive standouts Jonal Saint-Dic and SirDarean Adams are among five players who will sit out the Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 24, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Defensive standouts Jonal Saint-Dic and SirDarean Adams are among five Michigan State players who will sit out the Champs Sports Bowl on Friday against No. 14 Boston College because of academic or other violations.
The Spartans said Monday that Saint-Dic, a senior defensive end, and three other players are academically ineligible for the bowl game. Adams, a senior linebacker, violated unspecified team rules.
The other ineligible players are wide receiver and return specialist Terry Love, wide receiver/cornerback T.J. Williams and offensive guard Abre Leggins.
"We're obviously disappointed for these young men and for their teammates," coach Mark Dantonio said in a release from the bowl site. "We will miss them and their contributions on and off the field here at the Champs Sports Bowl."
Saint-Dic told the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal that he failed a math class, his final requirement to graduate with a degree in sociology.
"I only took two classes this semester, a sociology class for three credits and a math class for five credits," Saint-Dic said by phone from his hometown of Elizabeth, N.J. "I need six (passing) credits to play in the bowl game, so if I would have taken more classes I would have been fine. But I came up two points short in the math class."
"I studied and studied, but I came up short. It's a shocker. This is something I'm going to learn from, I'm not going to let it put me down. I'm praying for my teammates and I'm going to get my degree, and then I'm going for my master's degree."
Dantonio said he makes no excuses for any of the players being ineligible.
"We have stressed the importance of finishing things all season, both in the classroom and on the playing field," the coach said. "Michigan State provides its student-athletes with a tremendous amount of resources and tools for academic success.
"Each individual must be committed to putting forth the time and effort in the classroom, resulting in a reasonable amount of success."
Adams was a key player in the game that made Michigan State (7-5) bowl eligible. He made two interceptions in the Spartans' 48-31 victory over Purdue on Nov. 10.
Dantonio would not discuss the violation, but said Adams' situation "provides a learning opportunity for all of us. We continually stress to our student-athletes the importance of making good decisions, both on and off the field. It is unfortunate that we all must suffer the consequences.
"This provides playing opportunities for others. We've been pleased with the way our team has responded to challenges throughout this season, and we will again need to measure up."