Case against two Tennessee State football players dismissed

Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 2:47pm

A felony vandalism case against two Tennessee State football players was dismissed on Thursday.

But quarterback Michael German remains suspended and defensive back Joseph Johnson is no longer on the team, coach Rod Reed said in a statement.

German and Johnson were arrested in March for felony vandalism between $1,000 and $10,000 after allegedly jumping and dancing on the roof and hood of a TSU student’s car. Their charges were dropped on Thursday after both players were tried in General Sessions Court of Nashville-Davidson County.

“Today, Mike cleared one obstacle in getting back on the field,” Reed said. “However, he still has a long way to go in order to be a member of the 2013 squad. He will not be on the field for the foreseeable future and is still suspended. Joe Johnson is no longer a member of this football team. He is academically ineligible and will not play for us this fall.”

Last month, Reed said German still had academic obligations to fulfill before he could be reinstated.

Last season, German was benched for the opening series against Austin Peay after he violated team rules. Reed repeatedly has expressed frustration with the quarterback's immaturity.

“Very frustrated with him,” Reed said at Ohio Valley Conference Media Day in July. “But you still have to understand you’re dealing with a 19, 20-year-old kid that is still trying to find his way. To that end, you want to try to be as compassionate as possible. But at some point you’ve got to mature and grow up. It was a silly offense that turned into something much bigger than what it should have been. But when you’re the quarterback and you’re the face, so to speak, of the university you have to make better decisions.”

German, a 21-year-old from Pompano Beach, Fla., was the OVC Freshman of the Year in 2011. Last year, he completed 60 percent of his passes for more than 2,751 yards for the fourth-most in a single season at TSU. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder was instrumental in leading the Tigers to an 8-3 record.

His absence in preseason camp, which began Monday, leaves the Tigers with four quarterbacks who have not thrown a pass at TSU. Junior college transfers Holt Claiborne and Lamar McKnight and freshmen Ronald Butler and Patrick Smith are competing for the starting job.

Johnson, 21, transferred from Marshall after he was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. He played in three games for TSU in 2012 and made just one tackle.

2 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 8/8/13 at 12:55

Where's the info on the cases being dismissed in this story. The story headline
says one thing and the story is the resume of these two which most of us have
already known for months. Did the car become magically undamaged? Did
the University pay for the damages in order to get the owner to ask for case dismissed? If it were a 3rd string quarterback would things be the same?

By: PillowTalk4 on 8/9/13 at 9:27

govskeptic, TSU does not have deep pockets to pay off officials or make auto repairs to get a case dismissed for its athletes. There were approximately 20 people involved in the vandalism of the car and there was a lot of speculation and hearsay as to who was directly involved in the incident. I suspect that's why the judge threw the case out and the charges were dropped. There simply wasn't any evidence to charge specific individuals. The two TSU athletes that were charged were also responsible for reporting the incident to the university. Beyond that we have no real details as to their or others involvement. However, I think you are overlooking one thing, Coach Rod Reed at TSU is still standing his ground and continues to impose the suspension of the teams first string quarterback indefinitely. He didn't just automatically drop the suspension once the charges were dropped as so many other coaches who don't really care about the players would have done. Apparently Coach Reed still believes there is a need to maintain the suspension. I suspect it is to teach responsibility, accountability and a lesson in wise judgment to his athletes. I hope and pray that Michael German and Joseph Johnson have learned a life lesson from this and will move forward with their lives. They will have a second chance. Both need to take advantage of the opportunity that has been afforded to them.