As I remarked on the most recent podcast, when news breaks about a program or one of its players during the summer before practice begins, that news is very rarely in the good category. Today’s news about RB Eric Williams certainly fits that mold, as it was announced via Ball State press release that Eric Williams sought and received a release from his Ball State scholarship. The especially short BSU release…
Eric Williams, a sophomore running back on the 2010 Ball State football team, has left the program for personal reasons, according to first-year head coach Pete Lembo.
“We wish Eric nothing but the best in his future pursuits both academically and athletically,” Lembo says. “Everyone handles change differently. We certainly respect Eric’s decision to look for a better fit elsewhere. We will continue to provide him with whatever assistance he needs.”
It is certainly the most marquee defection since Pete Lembo took over the reigns as BSU head coach and I would be lying if I didn’t say this news comes as not a surprise but still disappointing. There have been rumblings throughout the program and those associated with it that Williams was finding himself amidst a bit different aura and feel since the departure of Stan Parrish, and many have voiced their concern that Williams’ reaction to a potentially heated competition for RB1 as well as a potentially diminished role in the offense wasn’t exceptionally positive. What I won’t do is act like BSU is better off without him, and what I will do is wish him well wherever he lands. What I will also do is fully understand that Williams’ talent and skill were unimpeachable, and his versatility on the field was something that gave the offense and special teams a spark.
In an effort of full disclosure, the connection between OTP and Williams stretches back to before he ever suited up for the Cardinals, as he was one of the recruits that we interviewed after they signed their letter of intent. From that initial interview and subsequent interactions, it was certainl clear that Williams had that winner’s swagger, and I’m sure that didn’t sit well with some. I, for one, was a fan of it, as nothing breeds success and winning like an attitude that you deserve it. OTP has always been a fan of E.W., and we’re working with him to get his side of the story out and in the public eye. Like my daddy always said, no matter how thin you slice a piece of cheese, it always has two sides, and I for one am curious to hear Williams’ perspective on this move and more importantly what’s next for him.
On the BSU side of the coin, the backfield is certainly a crowded place next season, so the drop off from Williams to his successor won’t be gigantic, but it’s still always sad to see a young man not find the fit he was looking for in his college athletics experience. More on this story as we get it, and we hope you’ll join us in wishing Eric well.
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