Cole Kelley suspended indefinitely

By: Jimmy Carter
Published: Monday, November 13, 2017
Cole Kelley (15), Arkansas quarterback, evades Rashard Lawrence, LSU defensive end, in the fourth quarter Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
Photo by Ben Goff
Cole Kelley (15), Arkansas quarterback, evades Rashard Lawrence, LSU defensive end, in the fourth quarter Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

— Arkansas redshirt freshman quarterback Cole Kelley is indefinitely suspended and won't play against Mississippi State this week after being arrested Sunday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, careless driving and violating the state's implied consent law.

Kelley won't be involved in any of the preparation or practice this week. Bielema will revisit the situation after this weekend.

"He's got to understand what life can be like without football," Bielema said. "... He has to understand that not only to be an Arkansas Razorback, to be a quarterback starting games here is a very big deal. Social media and everything else around, he's going to be held to a higher standard.

"The blessing that you give can also be your biggest burden, so he's going to have to do a lot of growing up in a short amount of time."

Kelley agreed to the terms Bielema put forth for his return. Bielema also talked with Kelley's parents, who were on board. Kelley was booked at the Washington County Detention Center at 8:47 a.m. He has a court date Wednesday.

"He's been pretty honest and up front with me all the way through," Bielema said. "... He's very disappointed. We were disappointed. It's a learning lesson that I hope he takes full advantage of, as well as our team."

Because of the timing of the arrest, Kelley went through Sunday meetings with the rest of the team, which Bielema said was "one of the few times I've seen Cole quiet."

"I kept him in the building Sunday because I wanted (him) to be around our guys, I wanted him to see them, face them," Bielema said.

Kelley will still be able to receive treatment for his turf toe injury at the facility and will still have access to the academic center and tutors.

Offensive coordinator Dan Enos, who also coaches the quarterbacks, declined to comment on a private conversation he had with Kelley or make a public statement about the quarterback Monday.

Kelley didn't start against LSU, but had started the previous four games in the place of injured senior Austin Allen. Kelley did play against the Tigers, completing 3 of 10 passes for 36 yards with an interception in the final two drives of the game.

For the season, he is completing 57.6 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,038 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. The 4-6 Razorbacks were 2-2 with him as a starter, winning games against Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina after Kelley led fourth-quarter comebacks.

Allen will make his second straight start after completing 13 of 23 passes for 140 yards against LSU. In his first action since the Oct. 7 loss at South Carolina, Allen missed throws on a few potential big plays down the field.

"He didn't play good enough for us to win," Enos said. "There are some things he missed. To me, as a quarterback, you're judged, it's pretty simple: you either win or we don't. So he's got to play better and we've got to play better around him."

Sophomore Ty Storey will be Allen's backup this week. Walk-on redshirt freshman Jack Lindsey will be the No. 3 quarterback.

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