In a statement released by the university, the University of Maryland has suspended linebacker A.J. Hendy and wide receiver Levern Jacobs for the season.
The suspension comes following last Friday’s news that both Hendy and Jacobs were charged with second-degree assault stemming from an incident July 19 in College Park, Maryland. The school released the following statement given by Coach Randy Edsall:
I have spoken with Levern and A.J. and expressed my disappointment with their actions. They showed poor judgment and failed to uphold the standards of a student-athlete at the University of Maryland. Both Levern and A.J. were regretful and apologetic about their role in this incident and understand that their actions will not allow them to participate in the upcoming football season.
That’s not exactly the prevailing headline the Terrapins were probably hoping for less than 24 hours before their first football game of the season, but this wasn’t exactly shocking. Maryland and the fans were aware of the situation for a week now, and most were just waiting for the hammer to drop. Some speculated that the duo might not end up receiving a year-long suspension given their participation in preseason workouts and practices, but that was optimistic, it seems.
Maryland had Levern Jacobs, the leader in receiving yards from 2013, listed as the #3 receiver on the depth chart, while A.J. Hendy was on the two-deep at the linebacker spot. Losing both means losing two players who the coaching staff figured would be big contributors.
The news is not good news, regardless of how one would like to spin it. The facts are that two players who stood a chance at being very solid contributors for the Terps are now out for the year and not helping the team on the field. It’s unfortunate when any program loses players due to tough situations, but as they say, young people make mistakes.
In Jacobs’ case, the loss should be recoverable, as the Terps still have some very sound depth at that position (including his younger brother Taivon). But they already lost Nigel King from the program due to transfer, and Maryland really can’t afford to lose any more. At the linebacker position, I have a feeling Maryland might feel that one a little more. A.J. Hendy (the guy who sparked the amazing West Virginia rout last year) does a little bit of everything and helped bolster depth at the linebacker spot as well as special teams. Maryland has others guys who can fill in for him, but they need good health in a unit that has players who are not always healthy.
Abner Logan was already suspended for the year, Matt Robinson has had trouble staying healthy, Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil was out for much of last year after tearing his pectoral muscle, and freshman linebacker Nnamdi Egbuaba is out for the year with a shoulder injury (though he was not expected to contribute). You get the picture.
Still, as far as suspensions go, this is one the team should be able to absorb and keep rolling.