Sep 2, 2017; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Jacob Park (10) throws a pass against the Northern Iowa Panthers at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Iowa State quarterback Jacob Park has requested a release from his scholarship in order to transfer, according to a report from the Des Moines Register’s Tommy Birch.
According to the report, Park was suspended for one game leading up to Iowa State’s game against Oklahoma due to a failed drug test for marijuana usage. The night before the suspension was to be served, the school announced Park had left the program to “work through some personal health issues.”
“It was not something that was very easy to deal with when you have so much high-pressure situations that you’re being put into as I do,” Park told the Register. “And it’s a coping mechanism that I understand now is not acceptable and that I’m still working on this to this day.”
Park started Iowa State’s first four games in 2017 throwing for 1,181 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions with a 62 percent completion percentage. That came after the Charleston, S.C. native played in 10 games in 2016 throwing for 1,791 yards, 12 touchdowns, and five interceptions.
The former four-star recruit began his college career at Georgia then transferred to two junior colleges before joining the Cyclones in the summer of 2016.
“Our football staff and administration has been proactive in helping Jacob improve academically, athletically and socially during his leave of absence from the team,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said in a release following the report’s publishing. “If he feels it is in his best interest to transfer to another school, we will support his decision and help him in the process.”
Been reaching out to sources in ISU’s program. Two told me that Jacob Park has been eating at ISU’s training table and lifting with the team over the last six weeks. One source says Park missed two meetings in last few weeks that were scheduled w/ Matt Campbell.
— Chris Williams (@ChrisMWilliams) December 12, 2017
After Park’s suspension, the Cyclones rattled off four straight wins, including victories over Oklahoma and TCU while they were ranked in the top-five. He was replaced by walk-on senior Kyle Kempt who finished the year with a 4-3 record as the starter while leading Iowa State to its first bowl berth since 2012.
“Everybody says these fans are so loyal, right?” Park told the Register. “Like, they were the first ones to turn on me. I got to witness this from a whole other perspective that most of you never get to witness.”
Iowa State will take on Memphis in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30. Stay tuned to Cyclone Fanatic for more on this developing story.
NOTE: This story was updated at 9:40 p.m. Monday night to include Campbell’s statement and reporting by Cyclone Fanatic publisher Chris Williams.