Marshall football: Herd senior lineman released from team
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The number of seniors being honored prior to Marshall's home football game against Tulane on Saturday is 19, not 20.
Brandon Campbell, a right tackle who started nine games this season, has been dismissed from the program a week shy of his final collegiate game.
The Herd (4-7, 3-4) and Green Wave (4-7, 2-5) kick off at noon.
Campbell won't be there. He served separate one-game suspensions this season for violations of team rules. The second slip-up prompted Marshall Coach Doc Holliday to jettison one of the anchors on the offensive line from the team permanently.
"It's disappointing when a guy lets you down like that," Holliday said Tuesday. "It's unfortunate, but every decision you make has a consequence. When you make bad decisions you got to live with the consequences and he's got to live with them."
Campbell missed the game at Bowling Green on Sept. 18, a 44-28 loss. He missed curfew last Thursday night, making Holliday's decision to leave the 6-foot-5, 312-pounder in Huntington an easy one.
The first-year coach explained the dismissal at his weekly press conference Tuesday.
"You invest so much," Holliday said. "You work 365 days a year to go out and get 12 opportunities. These kids, if I ask them to be in at 10 o'clock at night on a Thursday night, which I think is one of the most important nights of the week to get the proper rest, you need to go out and be at competitive excellence when you play on Saturday, then they are going to be in at 10 o'clock.
"If you can't do that 12 nights out of the year then you are not committed enough to play for Marshall. That's the way it is going to be. It's not going to be any different next year and the following year and the following year. I'm not going to waver on that and I never will."
Redshirt freshman Corey Tenney started in Campbell's place at SMU. Tenney (6-7, 295 pounds) is now listed first on the depth chart at right tackle ahead of true freshman Garrett Scott (6-4, 270).
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MARSHALL IS limping into the season finale.
Quarterback Brian Anderson, who has started 24 consecutive games, missed Tuesday's practice. He spent the first half of the afternoon session sitting in a chair on the sidelines tossing a football from his seated position.
Later he relied on crutches to move around field.
In addition to Anderson, Holliday said all four running backs - Tron Martinez, Martin Ward, Andre Booker and Essray Taliaferro - are "nicked up." Martinez has missed the last two games.
Defensive lineman Vinny Curry, who sat out the second half against SMU, seems to be a game-time decision.
"I don't know what his status is going to be this week," Holliday said of Curry, who has 89 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks this season. "We'll wait and see at the end of the week. If he can play, he'll play."
While Anderson sat out Tuesday, redshirt freshman A.J. Graham took snaps. Graham has missed most of the season with a high ankle sprain, but his availability for Saturday is not known.
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HOLLIDAY SAID that although a bowl game out of reach, there wouldn't be a change of strategy and a sudden infusion of youth in the lineup.
"We're going to play to win the football game," he said. "Hell, they're all playing anyway. We can't get a whole lot younger unless we've got some high school kids on official visits.
"I think that defensive line was all freshmen last week. To get younger ... I don't know where they are going to come from."
The Herd has played 28 freshmen (redshirt and true combined) and 12 true freshmen this season.
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WITH THEIR postseason fate sealed, Holliday said he could sense his seniors understood the finality of this week.
"It is a sad day when it is your last day," he said. "These guys anymore have played Pop Warner or Midget League from the time they were six or seven years old. They've played football their entire life.
"This is going to be the final snap for 99.9 percent of them. A couple of the guys will have opportunities, but for the majority of them this will be the last football game they will ever play.
"That's hard. You work 16 or 17 years of your life to play football and now all of a sudden it's over. It's tough."
Contact sportswriter Chuck McGill at email@example.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.