AMES – Starting safety David Sims will sit out Iowa State’s Sept. 2 season opener against Northern Illinois as punishment for pleading guilty to unauthorized use of a credit card.
Coach Paul Rhoads announced the suspension Wednesday at the team’s annual media day gathering. Sims, a senior who was the Big 12 Conference’s defensive newcomer of the year in 2009, was not made available to speak with reporters.
The gag order was a coaches’ decision.
“I want him starting camp with no distractions,” Rhoads said. “He will do that and has the maturity to do that.”
Sims will be able to practice with the team leading up to the 6 p.m. Thursday night game at Jack Trice Stadium.
Rhoads said the one-game suspension “is consistent with how I manage the program.”
Sims received a deferred judgment and was sentenced to 18 months probation. The crime is a simple misdemeanor.
Sims has addressed teammates and apologized.
“He was a team captain, he still acts like a team captain,” said cornerback Ter’ran Benton. “We don’t treat him no different. He’s a good guy. I never knew David would do something like that.
“People make mistakes. I know that it won’t happen again.”
Sims made 88 tackles last season, led the team with five interceptions and forced three fumbles. Senior Zac Sandvig is listed as the second-string strong safety on ISU’s depth chart.
ROSTER UPDATE. Incoming freshmen Jevoury Wedderburn, T.J. McCullough and Dentrell Pate did not meet qualifying standards and will not be a part of the team this season. Rony Nelson, a junior college transfer defensive end, is waiting on a ruling from the Big 12 to see if he can join the team for the start of practice today.
NO BO. Backup running back Bo Williams will not participate in preseason drills until the fall semester begins Aug. 23. Williams had offseason knee surgery, which Rhoads deemed minor, and is recovering from that injury.
CAPTAIN MIKE. It was a fleeting thought five years ago when Mike O’Connell stepped on campus at ISU.
Now, dream has become reality. O’Connell, a Cedar Rapids native and former Iowa City Regina standout, is one the Cyclones’ four co-captains.
The senior free safety isn’t taking the responsibility lightly.
“It was a blessing to be voted by my teammates,” O’Connell said. “I’m going to take great pride in that and lead as much as possible. Not just here on the field, but help these guys in life.”
He used to spend summers painting for his landlord or making money doing other odd jobs. Not this year.“It was the first summer I didn’t have a job,” O’Connell said. “I put all my time into football.”