Bielema suspends QB Kelley indefinitely after arrest

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Cole Kelley (15), Arkansas quarterback, looks for a receiver in the fourth quarter against LSU Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
Photo by Ben Goff
Cole Kelley (15), Arkansas quarterback, looks for a receiver in the fourth quarter against LSU Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Dan Enos was in no mood on Monday to talk about quarterback Cole Kelley's weekend arrest.

Enos, the Arkansas Razorbacks' third-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, was asked twice at his weekly news conference about Kelley, who was suspended indefinitely by Coach Bret Bielema following his early Sunday arrest by Fayetteville police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and two other charges.

"That's a private conversation," Enos said. when asked what he had to say to his freshman quarterback Sunday.

Asked later how disappointed he was in the 6-7 freshman, Enos replied, "I don't have a comment on that."

Thus the Razorbacks (4-6, 1-5 SEC) enter Saturday's game against Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) with senior Austin Allen at starting quarterback operating at less than peak efficiency and redshirt sophomore Ty Storey as the backup.

Bielema announced Kelley's suspension at his noon news conference Monday after talking to him Sunday afternoon and speaking by phone with Roger and Sheri Kelley, the Lafayette, La., freshman's parents Monday morning.

Kelley will be removed from all team-related activities this week, Bielema said.

"He's been pretty honest and up-front with me all the way through," Bielema said. "Obviously there's court proceedings going on, so I won't comment about the specifics, other than he's very disappointed. We were disappointed.

"He's going to have to do a lot of growing up in a short amount of time. I've had conversations with his parents and we're all on board moving forward. For however long the suspension, through this week for sure, through Saturday, I think he's got to understand what life can be like without football. And also address all the other issues. If he does all that we'll kind of address it at that point moving forward."

Kelley was pulled over at around 4 a.m. Sunday off Wedington Drive after his vehicle's passenger tires went over the curb, according to the police report, and he did not consent to a portable blood-alcohol test. He was taken to the Washington County Detention Center and charged with suspicion of DWI, careless driving and violation of the implied consent law.

Allen played all but the final two series in Saturday's 33-10 loss at LSU. In his first action after a four-week layoff to rest the shoulder he injured on Oct. 7 at South Carolina, Allen completed 13 of 23 passes for 140 yards, was sacked once for an 8-yard loss and had 2 other runs for 8 yards.

Allen did not complete a downfield pass longer than 18 yards and misfired on a handful of deep opportunities against the Tigers.

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

Allen went 3 for 3 for 39 yards and had an 8-yard scramble to the LSU 1 on Arkansas' lone touchdown drive, a 10-play, 86-yard march that ended on Devwah Whaley's 1-yard run over the left side.

"He got some confidence. He got to see if his shoulder is going to hold up," Enos said. "And any time you play at game speed and LSU on the road, you play good people who are well coached.

"Hopefully we'll see a step forward this week and he'll play faster and a little more confident. Hopefully he'll be able to make some of those plays we didn't make on Saturday."

Kelley went 3 for 10 for 36 yards on the last two series. The Tigers stopped him short on a quarterback sneak on fourth and 1 at the Arkansas 22 on his first series, then the Tigers' Andraez Williams intercepted his final pass in the LSU end zone in the final minute.

Storey has taken snaps in only one game this season, the final series of the Razorbacks' 49-7 victory over Florida A&M in the season opener. He took significant second-team reps last week with Kelley rehabbing the turf toe injury he suffered against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 4.

"I think Ty has done a good job," Enos said. "He's progressed and continued to really try to improve on the things we've talked to him about improving on.

"I think obviously all the reps he got last week will be a benefit for him this week. He'll get all the twos this week so that will be two weeks in a row he has got quite a bit of reps."

Bielema said Kelley was subdued in their Sunday meeting.

"He was very quiet," Bielema said. "One of the few times I've seen Cole quiet. He's going to handle it the right way, I think. He agreed to all the terms that I laid out in front of him.

"When you're in these positions, I think the biggest thing is you have to take it and run and learn. Sometimes when you're 19 and 20 you don't feel like you've got to hear these lessons, and I want to make sure that they absorb it and learn.

"Again, great discussions with his family. Cole has a very bright future. This shouldn't be the definition of his career. This should be one of those moments that shows who he is."


More headlines

Sports on 11/14/2017


Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.