NCAA Suspends WV Cornerback for Three Games over Academic Eligibility IssuesBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has suspended West Virginia corner back Ishmael "Icky" Banks for the first three games of the year over an unspecified academic eligibility issue.
"Icky has been reinstated to the team,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen . "He was dealing with some academic issues that had to get sent to the NCAA, and the NCAA came back with the ruling that he'll be suspended for the non-conference schedule. So for the first three games he'll be suspended and then reinstated." WV Gazette reports.
As a result of the suspension, the senior will miss non-conference games including Saturday's season opener against Alabama in Atlanta, the Sept. 6 home opener against FCS Towson, and a Sept. 13 road game at Maryland.
Redshirt sophomore Terrell Chestnut (10 tackles), Ricky Rumph or senior Travis Bell will likely be his replacement. However, Holgorsen admits that all these players come with a baggage of problems.
Chestnut, the most highly-acclaimed of West Virginia's cornerback recruits, underwent major knee surgery a year and a half ago that questions his athletic ability as a player. Bell, who is most experienced player at the position, was also suspended all spring.
Rumph, who is in his third season, hasn't played a lot of football. Jaylon Myers, another possible candidate, was cleared academically two weeks before and reported to practice. But, he has played little bit of post-high school ball.
"You get to a point in camp where you're not going to get a whole lot better and you don't know what you have until you see them under the lights and you get them in a live situation and you see how they respond to those situations," Holgorsen said, AL reports.
Banks will only be eligible to play in the Mountaineers' home opener on Sept. 20 against No. 4 Oklahoma.
"He'll be able to practice between now and our Oklahoma game, and then he'll be back for the Oklahoma game and the remainder of the Big 12 schedule after that. We're glad that he got it resolved and thank the NCAA for their ruling on that.''
Last season, he appeared in all 12 games for the Mountaineers with 32 tackles and two interceptions (third in the team).