According to LAJ's Don Williams' Red Raiders Football Notebook, senior defensive end McKinner Dixon has been suspended indefinitely. I'll let Captain Mike Leach take it from here:
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said he suspended defensive end McKinner Dixon indefinitely on Monday for not taking care of his schoolwork responsibilities.
Asked how likely it is that Dixon will be with the team next season, Leach said, "I don’t think it’s very high.’’
"We’ve got 130 people out there,’’ Leach said. "I’m getting sick and tired of wasting time on a handful of people who can’t do what they’re told. It’s like the 95-5 (idea): You spend 95 percent of your time on 5 percent of your players. Baloney. I’m not doing that.’’
We've been here before, haven't we McKinner?
After Brandon Williams declared for the NFL Draft, we all did some hand-wringing about who would step-up in his place. With Dixon's imminent departure, I think Rajon Henley's move to defensive end become permanent, while you should expect to see a steady diet of Brandon Sharpe, Daniel Howard, and Brandon Sesay all taking turns at defensive end. The wildcard in all of this is DE Ryan Haliburton, who I can only hope is making some progress. Of course this turns into a much more difficult situation if one of the the following three cannot contribute immediately: Chris Perry, Myles Wade and Pearlie Graves. And the move a couple of weeks ago to send linebacker Victor Hunter to defensive tackle all makes a little more sense.
As you can probably imagine, this pretty much neuters any sort of big-time pass-rush experience that the Red Raiders had going into the season and now this will be left the guys who want to play football.
If I had to guess, this is how I see the depth chart if the season were to start today, although I think that the only sure starters are Henley and Whitlock, the rest is up for grabs:
- DE: Rajon Henley and Daniel Howard
- NT: Colby Whitlock, Victor Hunter and Chris Perry
- DT: Richard Jones, Britton Barbee and Myles Wade
- DE: Brandon Sharpe and Brandon Sesay
But back to Dixon, it's unfortunate that he's been given so many opportunities and he seems to have pissed them away, mostly because he can't keep his head in the books. I hope that Dixon can figure it out, but I'm not betting on it.
Not really having to read between the lines, Leach seems pretty tired of Dixon's act and you may question some of what Leach does as a coach, but it really seems to be a guy that puts academics first.