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Leonard out for the season

Academic deficiencies have cost junior cornerback and return man Richard Leonard the 2013 season.

FIU head coach Ron Turner said after Tuesday's practice that Leonard "would not be eligible all year." Sources close to FIU have been telling The Herald for months that Leonard could miss at least the first four games and Turner did say last week that Leonard and senior wide receiver Glenn Coleman had academic issues to be cleared up before they could play.

Turner said Monday sophomore wide receiver DeAndre Jasper and Coleman both could be back this week with Jasper being the greater possibility.

A team already the youngest in the nation loses a two-year starter at cornerback, their best coverage corner, one of their fastest players and their most explosive kick and punt returner. Leonard had a touchdown on each and averaged 29.5 yards per kickoff return in 2012.

In Leonard's place, his cousin, sophomore Jeremiah McKinnon, started at cornerback Saturday against Maryland. Junior college transfer Randy Harvey might take that role Friday against Central Florida.

The betting line on Friday's game began with FIU a 23-point underdog around 12:30 p.m. Monday. It's at 25 1/2 as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

 

Comments

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That hurts. I really hope things get cleared up quickly with the academics.

Hurts a lot. Oh well...

0-12 here we come. Thanks buddy, life must be so hard for you.

THESE GUYS DONT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY THEY HAVE. They need to grow up and take care of business.

It's easy to put all the blame on the student-athlete. Don't get me wrong, the student-athletes need to be accountable for their actions, but a college football coach's duties also include that he ensures that his players are in a position where they can succeed from.

You have to ensure strong academic support from your staff when you don't have the best of resources. Monitoring of mandatory studyhall, checking on class attendance, providing tutoring, etc., and you have to have consequences for non-compliance.

You can't just stick your head in the sand, try to beat traffic and be at home by 6 pm after practice, and hope that all of today's student athletes are mature enough to complete all of their academic duties on their own. Would be great if that's how it worked, but that simply doesn't exist.

In other words, you have to WORK on eligibility issues and not just hope that they take care of themselves.

It's going to be a long year.
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A disaster of a season in the making. It is time for Garcia to go. He is responsible for this mess.

RECRUITING PEOPLE... IF THE MAJORITY OF YOUR RECRUITS ARE BARELY MAKING IT IN HIGH SCHOOL (NOT SAYING ALL) BUT A LARGE MAJORITY, AND IF THEY CAN SOME HOW SCORE HIGH ENOUGH TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE COLLEGE, PUT ON SCHOLARSHIP, WITH NO EMPHASIS ON "SCHOLAR" WHAT DO YOU EXPECT. NOW YOU ARE GOING TO ADD COLLEGE LEVEL COURSES, FOOTBALL PRACTICE, MEETINGS, ETC. TO THE MIX, THAT IS NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. YOU WANT TO TURN THIS ACADEMIC FAILURE SHIP AROUND, RECRUIT KIDS WITH A HIGH ENOUGH APTITUDE TO HANDLE THE RIGORS OF ATHLETICS AND ACADEMICS. THOSE ARE THE ONE'S THAT YOU SHOULD BE INVESTING YOUR DOLLARS IN. SO THE ON-GOING QUESTIONS IS DO YOU SACRIFICE TALENT FOR ACADEMICS. I WOULD PUT MY DOLLARS ON THE LATER.

No reason to sacrifice talent for academics. All it takes is the hard work of identifying great athletes who can also thrive in the classroom. It gets done all the time at programs much more intense than FIU, schools that FIU students couldn't get into and teams that FIU athletes couldn't play for. The kids are out there. We just need to go get them. Laziness on the part of recruiting is the only reason we might miss out. This new staff has an opportunity to right the ship. Let's see how they do in their first real recruiting class.

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