One of the expected foundations in a rebuilding season for FIU’s football team, two-year starting running back Kedrick Rhodes, was dismissed from the team Monday after his arrest over the weekend for discharging a firearm on campus.
The official terminology used in an FIU athletic department release Monday afternoon was “violation of team policy” without reference to the arrest.
Rhodes was booked early Sunday morning on charges of discharging a weapon on school property, a second-degree felony; improper exhibition of a weapon or firearm, a misdemeanor; discharging a firearm in public, a misdemeanor; and using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.
He was released on bond Sunday.
Coming off a disappointing 3-9 season, losing 30 seniors, incorporating new systems brought in by new coach Ron Turner and moving into Conference USA from the Sun Belt, few prognosticators expect much from FIU in the upcoming season. The offensive skill positions seemed solid, however, with returning starting quarterback Jake Medlock, a redshirt junior; Rhodes, a senior; and a pair of big, fast senior wide receivers, Willis Wright and Glenn Coleman, who might have possessed more raw talent than any other pair of wide receivers in Conference USA.
Coleman, who had academic difficulties, is no longer in school. Now, the Panthers have lost Rhodes, who ran for a school record 1,149 yards in 2011, 714 yards last season on two injured ankles and 2,159 yards in his FIU career. Rhodes also caught 19 passes for 237 yards, and his 67-yard touchdown against Duke tied a Wright touchdown for FIU’s longest touchdown receptions of 2012.
FIU’s remaining leading rushers from last year are Medlock (236 yards) and redshirt sophomore Shane Coleman (34 yards on eight carries). If he’s academically eligible, transfer Jakhari Gore, a Miami Columbus High graduate who first went to LSU, probably would start at running back.