Gerald Kemp No Longer on Griz Football Team
KGVO News learned from interim University of Montana Athletics Director Jean Gee on Friday that quarterback and running back Gerald Kemp is no longer on the Grizzly football team. Gee says Kemp was removed from the team for 'violation of team rules'.
Gee had no comment on the current status of starting quarterback Jordan Johnson, who has been embroiled in a controversy over accusations from a woman that led her to file an order of protection against him. Rumors have been swirling over his status on the team, although several weeks ago, University of Montana President Royce Engstrom confirmed that Johnson was enrolled in fall classes and was still a member in good standing on the UM football team. On the latest roster provided by Grizzly Athletics, Johnson is still listed as the starting quarterback.
The opening of fall camp for Montana is slated for August 6th, so in less than a month the question of who will quarterback the team will be clear. With Kemp out of the picture, and the transfer of Nate Montana, that leaves redshirt sophomore Shay Smithwick-Hann and redshirt freshman Trent McKinney as the potential signal callers for the Griz.
Last season, the Griz were 11 and 3, advancing to the FCS national semi-final game where they were narrowly defeated by Sam Houston State 31 to 28. Since then, repercussions of sexual assault investigations have led to the loss of Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year Robin Pflugrad and University of Montana Athletics Director Jim O'Day. President Engstrom did not renew their one-year contracts in March.
The Grizzlies open the season at home on September 1st by hosting the University of South Dakota, then travel for the first time ever to Boone, South Carolina to face perennial FCS power Appalachian State on September 8th.