Published November 20, 2014
Idaho State's troubled season turned more bizarre on Thursday with the university announcing the suspension of senior wide receiver Derek Graves for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Graves told ESPN.com that head coach Mick Kramer informed him of the indefinite suspension in a letter, citing he had been repeatedly late for practice.
The Big Sky university had suspended Kramer for last Saturday's game at Montana. ESPN's "Outside the Lines" program recently aired video footage of Kramer apparently shoving Graves to the ground on Oct. 3 - an incident which led Graves to file a police report and hire an attorney.
Graves said he suffered from neck spasms after the incident and hasn't played since then.
Idaho State also issued a letter of reprimand to Kramer for a violation of its conduct policy before the Bengals went on to lose to Montana, 70-24.
The Pocatello City Attorney's Office is considering misdemeanor charges against Kramer.
"I'm assuming this is a personal vendetta by Coach Kramer. He's acting differently toward me since the incident," Graves told ESPN.com.
Idaho State is 1-7 and has beaten only Division II Black Hills State. It has surrendered an average of 61 points in its seven losses to Division I teams.
Kramer is a longtime Big Sky coach who has had successful yet controversial stints at Eastern Washington and Montana State. In 1995, an Eastern Washington player accused Kramer of slapping him, although no charges were brought against the coach.
Kramer was fired at Montana State in 2007 after five former players were arrested within a year's time, the final straw being a former player caught selling drugs. Kramer filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming he was sent packing without cause and that the school libeled and slandered him, and later settled the case with neither side admitting fault.