AMES — Perhaps the biggest news coming from Iowa State’s spring game on Saturday was Paul Rhoads’ postgame announcement regarding the status of senior defensive tackle David Irving.
After photos surfaced (first reported by the Ames Tribune) of Irving carrying a stop sign during Tuesday night’s disturbance on campus (which ultimately led to the cancelling of VEISHEA for the rest of the week), Rhoads’ announced that his starting defensive tackle had been dismissed from the team.
Here is a transcript of Rhoads’ passionate statement in which he made the announcement after the scrimmage.
“I think anyone who knows me know that I run a disciplined program where the highest of character and integrity is demanded out of anybody that represents this program. Simultaneously, I think it is one of my responsibilities, if not, one of my greater responsibly to help young and sometimes immature young men become men. With that in mind, there are times that a player needs, deserves a second chance. There are extreme times even when they may need a third opportunity. In the end, it is a privilege and an honor to be a part of this football program and represent Iowa State football, Iowa State athletics and Iowa State University. David Irving has exhausted that privilege to represent this football program by not meeting the expectations that we have laid out for him. David Irving has been dismissed from our football team.”
Irving recorded 19 tackles and two sacks last season, his first on the interior line.
Iowa State had already lost two of its top three defensive tackles prior to Irving’s dismissal. Brandon Jensen quit the program in the offseason. Rodney Coe was kicked off the team earlier this spring for not following team rules.
With the loss of Irving, Iowa State’s already depleted line now looks even more questionable with the 2014 season being 140 days away.
“The defensive line is challenged and we have talked this spring about three junior college defensive linemen coming in,” Rhoads said. Young people are going to have to play. They were out there today.”
Sophomore Devlyn Cousin and redshirt freshman Robby Garcia started on the No. 1 defense at defensive tackle on Saturday.
“Devlyn Cousin is still young,” Rhoads said. “Robby Garcia is a baby. Vernell Trent is a baby. Pierre Aka didn’t get to finish because of a sprained ankle and missed most of the spring with a concussion. Those guys are all going to have to mature and grow and three junior college players are going to have to come in and contribute in an accelerated manner.”
Reinforcements are coming this summer in the form of junior college linemen Terry Ayeni, Trent Taylor and Dale Pierson. Regardless of the type of shape that they show up in, they will be forced to play immediately.