It was an exhilarating statement win for the Miami Hurricanes last Saturday in Blacksburg Virginia, and they snapped a four-game losing streak silencing a lot of critics by beating an ACC foe on the road.
However apparently not all is well behind the scenes, despite the Canes victory. This after Miami’s best receiver, sophomore Jeff Thomas, went AWOL from the program on Tuesday and did not practice. Then, with reports swirling Wednesday morning that Thomas had quit the football team, he again was a no-show for practice. Then, Miami released a statement saying the Thomas was “being excused” for “personal reasons.”
Next, after practice, Canes quarterback N’kosi Perry tried to downplay Thomas’s absence and act like that there was a possibility he would be returning, as Miami prepares for their regular season finale with Pitt on Saturday.
However, that was short-lived, as the Miami sports information department put out another statement a few minutes later. It saying in part, that Thomas had actually been dismissed from the football program what coach Mark Richt described as, “….high standards for excellence, for conduct and for the commitment to team for all of the young men who wear our uniform, and we will not waver from those standards…”
The Miami Herald had more on the story in this item Wednesday afternoon, including that the Canes coaching staff felt that Thomas was not doing everything necessary to be ready to play and not “giving it his all” on Saturdays. The Herald story further says the Thomas was held out for the first couple of offensive series on Saturday, as a form of “tough love” by receivers Coach Ron Dugans and Richt.
Later in the game with the Hokies, Thomas had a sensational 51 yard punt return, where he drove into the end zone (above), as part of Miami scoring 21 straight points on Virginia Tech in the third quarter of the game.
Again, that scoring play, the Cane success and the perceived happiness for the program apparentlyl wasn’t the case for Thomas. The Herald went on to say that they have a source saying Thomas wants to try to transfer to Illinois to be closer to his home of East St Louis.
At the moment, that transfer would take him at least a year under NCAA guidelines, unless he was given some kind of hardship waiver to play immediately in 2019.
Thomas leads Miami in catches, yards, yards per catch average and touchdowns this season.
This controversial story on the eve of Thanksgiving, only casts more negativity towards Richt and his situation. Clearly, when the #1 receiver on the team is so unhappy that he’s unwilling to finish out the final regular-season week of practice and game. And then, he quits? That’s a problem.
Still, the Hurricanes will try to regroup and avenge an awful loss to the Panthers a year ago which stopped there 10-0 season.
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