The true freshman’s punishment also sheds some light into Shafer’s handle on the team.
Naesean “Naes” Howard was suspended indefinitely Monday by head coach Scott Shafer for a violation of training camp rules. The suspension means that Howard will not be able to travel with the team to the annual Fort Drum trip this week.
Said Shafer to the media yesterday:
“I suspended Naes for the trip indefinitely with the goal being that when we get back on campus I’ll bring him in, sit him down, see if he learned his lesson for breaking training rules.”
Howard is a true freshman who made the switch from running back to defensive back after the end of high school.
The suspension is not expected to last long, based on Shafer and Howard’s remarks after the announcement. It is very hard to speculate on what the violations may have been, but it should be just a hiccup for Howard, who was the first commit in the 2014 class. It also should not affect if he sees the field early or not due to the fact that Howard is third-string on the depth chart and needs time to get use to his position change. Although he did play some time on the defensive side of the ball in high school, Howard is expected to see little time on the field, if not redshirt this year.
We see time and time again how Scott Shafer likes to handle off-field issues. He does punish players either in the form of a suspension or not letting them on the team (although the NCAA and university might have more to do with the later). Shafer does, however, give his players and recruits a second chance after they have learned from their mistake. We saw the suspension route given to Ryan Norton who had to sit out a game last year after his arrest. On the recruiting side, Corey Cooper was able to join the Orange after going to prep school for a semester due to academic issues. Now Shafer will be put in the same situation with athlete Treevon Prater and K.J. Williams, if he decides to come back.”
Howard’s suspension will likely be a non-factor by the season’s start. It is however interesting to see how Shafer’s protocol when it comes to off-field problems.
Posted by: Zephan Mayell