Kellen Lewis dismissed from IU football team

Apr 30th, 2009 | By Pete Dymeck | Category: News

Indiana gave Kellen Lewis a second chance.

The quarterback-turned-receiver won’t get a third.

The former All-Big Ten player was kicked off Indiana’s football team Wednesday for an undisclosed violation of team rules, just over a year after he drew a four-month suspension for other violations.

Coach Bill Lynch said he was disappointed with what happened, but that he made the decision because it was best for the team. Athletic director Fred Glass supported Lynch’s move.

Lewis did not immediately respond to an e-mail sent to his school address, and there was no answer at the listed phone number for his parents in Florida.

It appeared Lewis had a bright future after signing late with the Hoosiers before his freshman season in 2006.

When the Hoosiers lost their top two quarterbacks with injuries against Ball State, Lewis took over and led a rally to give Indiana a 24-23 victory. Later that season, then-coach Terry Hoeppner made Lewis the full-time starter.

By 2007, Lewis was considered one of the Big Ten’s biggest dual-threats and he led the Hoosiers to their first bowl bid since 1993, earning a second-team all-conference selection.

But the decline came almost as quickly for Lewis.

He lost the starting job last spring to Ben Chappell because of the suspension. After winning back the starting job in August, Lewis responded with a dazzling performance in a 31-13 season-opening victory over Western Kentucky that earned a fifth conference player of the week award. Then came a series of nagging injuries that slowed Lewis, and he spent most of the remainder of the 2008 season either on the sideline or rotating between quarterback, receiver and running back.

Lynch then adjusted the offense for 2009, making Lewis a significant part of the plan.

He moved Lewis to receiver in spring practice and also wanted him to line up in the backfield with Chappell.

“We felt like what we were doing in the spread, people had caught up to us,” Lynch said during spring practice. “So we wanted to do some more things with it.”

Lewis, perhaps Indiana’s best and most versatile athlete, won’t be around to reap the rewards, though.

The 6-foot-1 rising senior from Jacksonville, Fla., still holds IU career records with 565 completions and 48 touchdown passes, is second with 8,072 total yards and third with 6,395 yards passing.

But the problems were just too much for Indiana to accept.

“Today’s action underscores that no individual student-athlete, regardless of talent or popularity, is above the expectations of Indiana University,” Glass said in a statement.

Lewis is the third player to be disciplined by Lynch since December.

Defensive back Cortez Smith, a freshman from Detroit, was suspended indefinitely Dec. 19 after being arrested on robbery charges. Offensive lineman Dennis Ziegler, a freshman from Indianapolis, was suspended indefinitely a week later after criminal charges were also filed against him.


Tags: Kellen Lewis

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