September 29, 2011

Bryce Brown's future with Kansas State unknown

MANHATTAN — Running back Bryce Brown has not practiced with the Kansas State football team this week, and his future status with the Wildcats is unknown.

MANHATTAN — Running back Bryce Brown has not practiced with the Kansas State football team this week, and his status with the Wildcats is unknown.

Two sources told The Eagle on Thursday that Brown has been absent from all team activities since returning to Manhattan on Saturday night after playing in the team's victory at Miami.

He is not expected to play Saturday when K-State faces No. 15 Baylor at Snyder Family Stadium. A team spokesman would not comment on Brown's status with the team.

When reached Thursday afternoon, Brown's adviser, Brian Butler, who spoke to K-State coaches in person earlier this week, said he was unsure whether Brown had left the program.

But Butler indicated that Brown, who has been in a backup role this season, has been dealing with issues that, when combined with his lack of playing time, could keep him away from the field.

"There are some off-the-field things that are going on," Butler said. "He's a competitor and any competitor wants to play. Obviously, Bryce has been used to playing for a bunch of years. I would assume that it is somewhat frustrating for him, but it goes way beyond football."

On Tuesday, coach Bill Snyder said Brown was dealing with complex issues.

"Bryce is going through some difficult times right now," Snyder said. "We'll try to help him all we can."

Brown, a former top-ranked running back recruit out of East, has played in two games with the Wildcats and had three carries for 16 yards.

He was a preseason All-Big 12 selection.

In Brown's K-State debut against Eastern Kentucky, he lost a fumble in front of the Wildcats' end zone. He then watched the Wildcats defeat Kent State from the sidelines with what Snyder described as a minor injury. Last week at Miami, he was on the field for two series, but recorded no stats. He left in the second half after missing a block in the backfield on a pass play.

Snyder described Brown's struggles as "unfortunate."

Brown began his career at Tennessee, rushing for 460 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman before transferring to K-State to play alongside his brother, Arthur.

Snyder was later asked who Kansas State might play at running back against Baylor, and he didn't mention Brown.

Snyder said John Hubert, who is coming off a 166-yard effort against Miami, will start the game, and Angelo Pease, who did not play at Miami, will likely see time as a backup.

If Brown returns to practices, he could factor in to K-State's offensive plan as the season continues. But Butler said that was a choice only Snyder and his coaching staff could make.

"I agree and support whatever decision they make moving forward," Butler said. "I am 100 percent on board with whatever Coach Snyder chooses with Bryce."

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