Vess out for season, still on team

TCU’s vaunted defense took a blindside hit this week as James Vess was ruled ineligible to play this season. Vess, a junior defensive tackle from Fort Worth, was one of nine starters slated to return for a defense that ranked No. 2 in total defense in the country last season. Despite the season-long suspension, head coach Gary Patterson said he was informed Tuesday that Vess is still allowed to practice with the team.

While it is unknown what infraction(s) caused Vess to be ineligible for the season, Patterson said in Tuesday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Vess would continue to take classes at TCU. Freshman Kelly Griffin from Irving is expected to take over for Vess.

Vess was coming off of a breakout year, totaling 8.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks, while starting 11 games as a sophomore.

This is the latest story in what has been an eventful week for TCU football. “Personal reasons” kept Tommy Blake at home, forcing the senior defensive end to miss several practices before returning to practice Tuesday. Also, Patterson announced Sunday that redshirt freshman Andy Dalton beat out sophomore Marcus Jackson for the starting quarterback position.

Sports editor Tim Bella