Three players who were dismissed from Albright College last week have the opportunity to rejoin the team if they want.
The players were dismissed regarding the team’s apparent decision to have players kneel during the coin toss before Albright’s game on Oct. 7 vs. Delaware Valley and stand for the national anthem.
Freshman backup quarterback Gyree Durante knelt during the anthem — something he had done previously. In the days following the game, the school said he had been voted off the team by its leadership council for violating a team decision to kneel and then stand.
Then later in the week, two unidentified players were dismissed from the team. According to a statement from Albright president Dr. Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, the two players “did not fully kneel” during the coin toss.
While Fetrow said the dismissal of the players was “consistent with existing policies and practices, they are not fully aligned with our core values.”“In addition, going forward, if players are on the field or court when the anthem is played, all coaches will support their team players who choose to either stand or kneel during the anthem,” Fetrow said in the statement.
Got all that? Good. The circumstances somehow get more confusing.
Monday, Albright said the three players would have the chance to rejoin the team. Fetrow explained the decision in an open letter on the school’s site. The team decision may not have been as rock-solid as the school initially made it seem.
Ongoing review of the details surrounding the game’s events has provided greater clarity. What we understood to be shared agreement among players, student leaders, and coaches has not been adequately supported. As a result, each of the students dismissed from the football team for failure to comply with the team’s shared agreement established for that day has been offered reinstatement to the team.
When the school announced Durante’s suspension, a spokesperson told NBC 10 in Philadelphia that “one football player, who unbeknownst to the coach and the team, chose not to support team unity and has been dismissed from the team.”
In addition to offering players reinstatement, Fetrow said that “examination of current policies and practices shows that their implementation does not fully align with our core values. I have charged all members of the Athletics Department to partner with Student Affairs to review policies and published practices, so that they are consistent, respect Albright’s core values, and support all of our students. I have charged the provost and the faculty to consider their policies and published practices, as well.”
Albright’s football team is 5-1.
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