With a felony charge of sexual intercourse without consent pending against now former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson, questions regarding his status as a student, as well as a student athlete, have surfaced.

Associate Commissioner for Communications with the Montana Board of Regents Kevin McCrae said because Johnson has only been charged with a felony and not convicted, he may remain a student in good standing and enroll in fall classes. However, due to the more stringent Student Athlete Conduct Code, the athletic department has the right to suspend Johnson from all activities pertaining to the football team. McRae says that decision has already been made.

When asked if Johnson would still be able to use his athletic scholarship to pay for tuition at The University of Montana, McRae was less sure of an answer. He speculates that because a student enters into an agreement with the university that provides a grant in aid for academics due to participation in athletics, that the university would not have the grounds to withdraw from that commitment solely on the basis of a criminal charge versus a criminal conviction. He said the student is entitled to due process in the legal system, so the university must meet its obligation to the student with regard to financial assistance for education.

According to McRae, because Johnson is not voluntarily leaving the football program, the University would have no cause to pull his scholarship. McRae was careful, though, to leave that decision up to Athletic Director Jean Gee. Gee was not in her office on Thursday afternoon to answer the question.

Associate Commissioner for Communications for the Montana Board of Regents Kevin McRae