DSU Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs Matt Jones said the university as well as the athletics program does “take discipline seriously.”
Last week Delta State Head Football Coach Todd Cooley announced in a press release the “indefinite game suspension of junior quarterback Dennis Robertson on Tuesday, Aug. 20 for violation of team rules."
Jones reassured that this situation is not being taken lightly.
According to Jones, Robertson will “have regular meetings with Coach Cooley” and “won’t see the football field for some time” and from his understanding “won’t be able to dress for the team.”
However, the reasoning behind not releasing Robertson from the team altogether has been a question among many.
“Everyone makes mistakes. The program had two choices. You completely cut them or you make this a teachable moment,” said Jones.
Jones said the program and Cooley want to “continue to mold this young man in the early days of his life.”
While Robertson will continue to train with the team and be a part of the rigorous practicing, he will not be rewarded and allowed to step onto the field.
“He’s paying the price by not being able to play,” said Jones.
“I don’t believe (this type of behavior) is in his character. He is very contrite. He is ashamed of what he has done for the program and DSU,” said Jones.
Robertson will remain on suspension until Cooley believes he has learned from his mistake.
“Whether he’s a player, student, or community member, you either teach them the right things to do or let them go out and make the wrong decision again,” Jones said.
Jones added with focus on the actions of one particular football player at Delta State, it is important to remember that one quarterback’s mistakes do not make up the university.
Delta State’s statement of ethics, which can be found on the DSU Website says, “Each member of the community pledges his/her best effort.”
Jones said the Delta State Athletics Department is attempting to fulfill that statement by aiding players to reach their best, both on the field and off.
“We all make mistakes, this man is in his early 20s,” said Jones, “we want to continue to mold this young man in the early days of his life.”