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Stoops suspends Sanders — “I’ve sat in here and bragged on him throughout the year” for Tennessee game

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky will be without its leading rusher, senior Raymond Sanders, Saturday night when the Wildcats close the season by  hosting Tennessee.

“I’ll let y’all know right now, because it will be news throughout the week, but there will be one senior that will not play this week and that will be Raymond (Sanders), and he will not be permitted to play this week,” Stoops said Monday.

Kentucky had three players suspended at Georgia — defensive end Jason Hatcher, cornerback Cody Quinn and receiver Demarco Robinson. Hatcher and Quinn will be back this week, but not Robinson, the team’s best receiver in recent games. Stoops did say Robinson (20 catches for 213 yards and two scores) can return for his senior season “provided he meets some requirements that we’ll put on him” before then. He also said all the suspensions were from separate incidents.

Sanders has rushed for 464 yards and three scores and has 683 all-purpose yards. He is out for a “violation of team rules” after rumors swirled last week that he was off the team. Sanders was suspended for one game during the 2012 season for a violation of team rules under then coach Joker Phillips.

” We were working through a couple things last week, and you may or may not have heard this.  You all know I got some questions on him.  We got some more information back today and firmed up our decision with what I’m going to do with him on this Saturday,” Stoops said of Sanders.

Stoops said he wasn’t sure yet if Sanders, a player he praised often this season for his leadership, would go through Senior Day festivities.

“To be honest with you, I got this information about an hour ago.  So let me think through that a little bit.  But I’ll let you know tomorrow,” Stoops said.

Stoops called it “very disappointing” that this happened with Sanders.

“I’ve sat in here and bragged on him throughout the year.  That doesn’t change my opinion of Raymond. I think he’s a good person.  I am disappointed in a few decisions that he made, but he’s a good person.  He was a good person for this program,” Stoops said. “Let’s not let this define him.  I am disappointed; it’s not acceptable and he will not play.  That’s really all I wanted to say.  I don’t want to get too much into detail about that.  But Raymond’s just suspended for this game.  He’s not kicked off the team or anything like that.  He just can’t play in this game.”

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7 comments

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  1. Kokamo Joe

    Again, I sing the praise of Stoops. If this program is ever going to achieve greatness the coach has to be in charge and he must be respected.

    If Sanders had not been in trouble before this year I would see a slap on the wrist. I know what his trouble has been in the past, and trust that Stoops has done the right thing.

    Some of us forget what it is like to be young. Today’s kids are tempted by more that we were faced with when I was his age. I suspect that I know what Sander’s problem is, but I will only say this: there are things more important than football. Getting one’s life together is far more important. I believe that by suspending him, Stoops is not giving him a kick in the rear but a push in the right direction.

  2. Larry Pup

    Very sad. Hey, I feel for him, but you have to abide by the team’s rules. He is no different than anybody else. UK needed him too. Contrary to what Coach has requested, Raymond will always be judged by this one thing. Things like this don’t go away very easy.

  3. OldFan

    I agree that Stoops need to have control and there must be consequences when the rules are broken. However, I hope Stoops allows him to participate in the Senior Day activities. The Senior Day activities should be for all he has done during his time here; not about a mistake that he made.

    1. Little Baron

      That’s very reasonable… as long as it did not directly impact the team or other players (not counting the loss of his participation in the game).

  4. Little Baron

    Very tough for a Senior to miss his last game, and being at home adds to the hurt. Stoops must stop all the “old ways” by following through on his rules when someone breaks them. In don’t know what he did and don’t need to know. Too bad for Sanders, but also too bad for Stoops to have to deal with issues this late in the season.

    IF another player (or players) were involved and/or influenced him to make a poor decision, they need to be caught and sent packing if it’s really a serious problem.

  5. Ira

    Stoops is right discipline or we won’t have a team just a mob out there playing.

  6. Andy

    Sometimes lessons have to be learn’t the hard way and Stoops is doing what he is supposed to do, which is maintain discipline. I am glad Coach Stoops is laying the law unlike LSU with Jeremy Hill and Tyraan Mathieu. How many drug tests did Tyraan fail? I think about 7. Its good that Coach Stoops demands the best from his players.

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