Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Monroe reinstated on football team

September 11, 2001

Head football coach Bobby Williams reinstated sophomore center DeMarco Monroe’s status on the football team after suspending him indefinitely Sept. 3, because of his connection to an undisclosed “incident.”

Williams wouldn’t discuss the details surrounding the situation during his initial statement, but he did say suspending Monroe, the team’s 20-year-old backup center, was the right thing to do until further details were available.

The suspension lasted one week and was lifted Monday. Williams didn’t specify what Monroe did to be suspended or what he did to be reinstated.

“When we deal with a suspension, I give them a list of things that they need to do for the program,” Williams said. “Once those items are completed then it’s basically under my discretion to clear the suspension, and I did.”

Monroe was not available for comment after Monday’s practice and won’t talk to the media until after his first game.

“He’s got nothing to gain by talking (to the media) at this time if there is no police report,” associate athletic director John Lewandowski said. “That’s just sound legal advice, and it protects the kid. He’s just got to fundamentally protect his rights.”

Unless there is a police report Lewandowski said the situation surrounding the suspension will most likely stay a private team issue.

“Bobby made his decision in the best interest of the football team,” Lewandowski said.

“We never discuss publicly what a suspension is for, but we put out a list of things he has to complete, and he completed those things, so he was reinstated.”

Monday was the first day Monroe was back in practice with the team.

Sophomore linebacker Mike Labinjo, a close friend of Monroe’s, said having him back in practice helps the team out - at least in its attitude.

“I can see a definite change in these guys’ attitudes in practice,” Labinjo said. “He was just getting everyone going; He had everyone’s spirits high.”

During his off week, Labinjo said Monroe worked out with the team’s scouts and tried to keep his own spirits up.

“He’s been pretty upbeat ever since the whole thing happened,” Labinjo said. “I think he was a little shocked at first, but he’s been working hard.”

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