It's been a long, hard offseason—to say the least—for the Texas A&M Aggies, and the dust is only beginning to settle on which players will have to miss what for how long.
Kevin Sumlin put one case to rest on Monday afternoon. The Aggies head coach announced that defensive lineman Kirby Ennis, who was arrested on gun charges in February, would be suspended for the season-opener against Rice.
Per ESPN's Brett McMurphy:
Sumlin said starting DL Kirby Ennis suspended for opener vs. Rice because of off-season gun charge arrest— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 5, 2013
Ennis appeared in 13 games for the Aggies last season, starting in 11 and finishing the year with 24 tackles. Had he missed considerable time following his arrest, Texas A&M would have been dangerously thin on the defensive line. However, the team should be able to handle his absence against Rice.
This news, of course, comes on the heels of yesterday's reports concerning quarterback Johnny Manziel. According to ESPN's Outside the Lines, Manziel allegedly arranged to sign autographs for profit at last year's BCS National Championship—allegations that, if true, would put his eligibility in doubt for the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, earlier this offseason, two projected starters in the secondary—Deshazor Everett and Floyd Raven Jr.—were suspended from the team following assault charges. According to Howard Chen of CSN Houston, Sumlin still hasn't decided how many games they will miss:
Sumlin: Kirby Ennis suspended for Rice game. Floyd Raven, Deshazor Everett still TBD. #Aggies— Howard Chen (@ho_chenCSN) August 5, 2013
All of which has added to the offseason from hell in College Station. The Manziel case is obviously the most appreciable, but losing Everett and Raven for an extended period would hurt in its own right; Texas A&M does not have the defensive depth to stomach that loss.
So while Ennis' suspension is not good news, in any sense of the word, it might come as a small relief to Aggies fans. His punishment is a short one, not long enough to keep him out against Alabama on Sep. 14. More than that, his case has come to a close—they needn't spend more time speculating on what his sanctions will be.
One down. Three to go.