The saga of running back Jeff Smith has taken another twist, with the possibility of him taking a medical redshirt this season.
"We don't have to make that decision right now," coach Jeff Jagodzinski said yesterday after meeting with Smith, who suffered a concussion during training camp and has missed the team's first three games. "We will probably end up going in that direction."
The speedy Smith was regarded as a situation back and kick returner. But a series of health and academic issues - he needed to take two courses this summer to maintain his eligibility - has derailed his season.
The 5-foot-9-inch, 191-pound sophomore from Plympton has options. He could transfer to another school with less stringent academic standards while sitting out the season. Smith has not asked permission for a release from his scholarship, which is necessary for a transfer.
Smith, who was not made available by BC officials yesterday, could transfer to the NCAA playoff division, Division 2, or Division 3, and be eligible to play immediately if he is cleared to play.
"We have had so many doctors look at him," Jagodzinski said. "He's on the top of the injury list every day. It's still symptomatic. We will not go lightly on head injuries. We are dealing with a kid's life. We're going to be very cautious."
Although Smith can't practice, he has had time to catch up on his studies. "He gets an extra three hours a day in our learning resource center," Jagodzinski said.
Whether Smith wants to return to play football at BC or transfer is uncertain. What is certain is he will not be playing tomorrow.
Well armedOne of the differences between Army's and BC's quarterbacks is the way they spent their summer. Matt Ryan was at BC working out with his teammates, then spent time with his family on the Jersey Shore. Army's Carson Williams was at Camp Buckner in West Point, N.Y., going through field training, and senior David Pevoto was in Fort Sill, Okla., along with wide receiver Jeremy Trimble going through field artillery training . . . First-year Army coach Stan Brock has a New England connection. Brock's brother, Pete, was the center for the Patriots for 13 seasons. Stan played 16 seasons in the NFL . . . BC's defense continues to take hits with defensive tackle Brady Smith and defensive backs Wes Davis and Roderick Rollins out with injuries and unlikely to play against Army.
(Correction: Because of a reporting error, the academic status of Boston College football player Jeff Smith was misrepresented in the Boston College notebook in the Sept. 21 Sports section. Smith did not need to take two courses in the summer to maintain his eligibility. His eligibility for the 2007 season was never in question.)