Football Update: Render Suspended, Drager Likely to Get Redshirt

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Virginia Tech’s struggling offensive line, ranked 11th in the ACC and 110th
nationally in sacks allowed, will have to do without one of its better players
for one quarter Saturday. Right guard Sergio Render has been suspended for the
first quarter of the game against UNC.

Render is being disciplined for undisclosed reasons. Kyle Tucker of the
Virginian-Pilot reported in his
yesterday that "Lt. Kit Cummings of the Blacksburg Police
Department said Tuesday that there was ‘an ongoing investigation’ involving
Render, surrounding an incident that occurred over the weekend."

Head coach Frank Beamer wouldn’t address the issue directly with the press,
but said that he is gathering information and it’s "nothing super

The suspension breaks a streak of 17 straight starts by Render, dating back
to the first game of the 2006 season. Render will be replaced by Brandon
Holland, who will be making his first start. Holland, a true sophomore who
prepped at Hargrave Military Academy and entered VT in January of 2006, played
in three games last year (Southern Miss, Wake Forest, and UVa) and all four
games this season.

In other news, true freshman Chris Drager, who suffered a partial ACL tear
against William & Mary, will likely receive a medical redshirt and retain
all four seasons of his eligibility. In previous years, the NCAA did not grant a
medical redshirt to players who played in more than three games, but this year,
they changed the rule to more than four games. Drager played in all four of
Tech’s games, but under the new rule is eligible for the medical redshirt.

Pellum Denied by NCAA Clearinghouse

Freshman combo guard Darrion Pellum has been enrolled at Virginia Tech since
classes started and has been practicing with the basketball team this fall, but
he found out recently that the NCAA Clearinghouse, which determines freshman
athletic eligibility, has ruled him ineligible to play for Virginia Tech.

Under the NCAA’s sliding scale, Pellum entered Virginia Tech with a
qualifying combination of high school GPA and SAT scores, but the Clearinghouse
took exception to Pellum’s SAT and forced him to take it again this month. Mark
Berman of the Roanoke Times spoke with Pellum’s former high school coach,
Hampton High’s Walter Brower, and reported:

Brower said that after Pellum took the SAT twice, the NCAA found fault with
"too many erasure marks on his answer sheet," wanted documentation
from Massanutten that no one took the test for him, and wouldn’t accept his
scores. He had to take the SAT again this month, said Brower.

"They gave him three days [to retake it] and he didn’t score high
enough based on his GPA," Brower said.

Pellum will finish the fall semester at Virginia Tech and will transfer to a
junior college. He will never play for the Hokies or any other ACC school. The
ACC does not allow its schools to admit freshman non-qualfiers, and though some
non-qualifiers can later transfer to ACC schools, Pellum cannot, because he had
already enrolled at Tech.

A total of eight players signed in VT’s 2007
basketball recruiting class
, and two have already been lost, Pellum and
Gus Gilchrist. Gilchrist, in a well-documented case, backed out of his letter of
intent to Virginia Tech. VT eventually released Gilchrist from his LOI, and he
has opened up his recruiting.

Another member of that class, Dorenzo Hudson, did not enroll at VT this fall
because he didn’t finish his high school requirements in time. He hopes to
enroll in January.

VT is also awaiting word on whether freshman J.T. Thompson will be eligible
to play this season. Thompson has satisfied NCAA requirements for freshman
eligibility, but has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse yet.

Tech’s 2007 Basketball Signees
PF Jeff Allen Qualified, enrolled, and eligible
SF Terrell Bell Qualified, enrolled, and eligible
SG Malcolm Delaney Qualified, enrolled, and eligible
PG Hank Thorns Qualified, enrolled, and eligible
SF J.T. Thompson Awaiting NCAA Clearinghouse
SG Dorenzo Hudson Hopes to enroll in January 2008
PF Gus Gilchrist Released from LOI, going elsewhere
SG Darrion Pellum Ineligible, will never play at VT

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