Just when it appeared Terps RB Wes Brown was out of the woods, we probably should have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the sophomore running back and Maryland’s second leading rusher will be suspended for the remainder of the season, hoping to return in January.
The suspension comes as a major surprise for anyone following the case. As recent as three days ago, the prosecution decided to drop all charges against Wes Brown stemming from an altercation with police on July 4, 2013. Brown was alleged to have resisted against an unwarranted arrest by the Maryland police based off a link between his car and a non-fatal shooting that occurred in Baltimore. It was generally assumed that Brown would be reinstated to play football at some point in time, having skirted the severe charges.
Apparently that doesn’t matter, though. The committee doling out the suspension decided it best that Brown sit out a full season before returning in January. Per the source, Brown has accepted the suspension, meaning that he either appealed and lost or has opted not to appeal at all.
The good news out of this is that the suspension is, more or less, a redshirt year for Brown. He has opted to remain with the university, and will still have three more years of eligibility following his return in January when Maryland moves to the Big Ten. The decision does give Maryland fewer options at the running back position. Sophomores Brandon Ross and Albert Reid are first and second string on the depth chart, followed by Joe Riddle. Ross led the Terrapins in rushing yards last season, but was hampered by injuries from the get-go. Reid served spot duty behind the (now departed) Justus Pickett, as well as Ross and Brown.
The move almost makes sense, even if it seems a tad reactionary. It was apparently out of Edsall’s hands, but I can’t imagine he vehemently disagreed with the decision. The entire situation ran against the grain of Edsall’s “clean regime” mantra, and the university probably didn’t want to deal with any other issues that may have arisen in the future, should Brown be linked more intimately with the Baltimore shooting. Edsall is a disciplinarian, and understands well that the university wants to clean up it’s image.
We’ll keep you updated on the news as the story develops.
UPDATE: Per a tweet from Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt who spoke with Brown’s lawyer, he has accepted the suspension, but may still return second semester:
That’s great news for the Terps. It’s uncertain what those benchmarks are, but should he meet them he could be back once the season ends.
UPDATE 2: More news from Prewitt about Brown’s future: