Ellison suspended indefinitely; Burnam suspended for season opener

Indiana announced Friday afternoon that sophomore running back Morgan Ellison has been suspended indefinitely from all football activities.

Ellison, IU’s leading rusher, amassed 704 yards on the ground, scored six touchdowns and received the program’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year award in 2017. Highlighting his debut season, Ellison picked up Big Ten Freshman of the Week recognition on two occasions after running for 186 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia Southern, and after rushing for 149 yards and two scores against Rutgers.

No reason was provided for Ellison’s suspension.

Although Ellison projected as IU’s starting running back for the Sept. 1 season opener at Florida International, the second-year player still has much to prove. More than 47 percent of his rushing output on the season came in those two wins over Georgia Southern and Rutgers. Take out the Rutgers game and Ellison rushed for merely 274 yards and two touchdowns in seven other Big Ten games.

Even so, Ellison has been praised throughout the off-season for his physical development. From the beginning of January through the start of spring practice, the 6-foot-1, 232-pound back dropped six percent body fat. He was also clocked among IU’s fastest skill players.

And there was no question he was the most complete back inside Indiana’s stable

“I had a guy that came and he hadn’t seen him the whole offseason,” IU coach Tom Allen said this spring. “He was like, ‘Whoa!’ Right away, (Ellison) was the first guy he noticed. He’s bigger, stronger, faster and he understands what he’s doing.”

Without Ellison, IU will need a true running back-by-committee approach, at least early. Redshirt sophomore Cole Gest possesses the best speed of group, while senior Mike Majette, when healthy, has shown a diverse skill set. Freshman Stevie Scott turned heads during this month’s fall camp with his power between the tackles and, without Ellison available, Scott stands to get more time than he would’ve otherwise.

Ellison’s absence could also allow for senior Ricky Brookins, freshman Ronnie Walker and redshirt freshman Craig Nelson to work their way into the mix.

Additionally, IU announced that redshirt freshman linebacker Mo Burnam has been suspended for the season opener. Burnam was named scout team player of the week leading into last season’s win over Charleston Southern. He did not appear to be in the mix for regular snaps with IU’s defense.


  1. Maybe some other bozos will behave themselves next time. They have betrayed their team mates, just like the selfish basketball players 4 years ago who nearly killed Davis.

    1. Davis nearly killed himself by jumping in front of the car Holt was driving as a prank! Get your facts straight! Holt did nothing wrong in that incident!

    1. Yup,
      . . . and you just named a starting QB which will likely not strike terror into opposing offenses with his running or the deep ball passing ability. Better hope the next guys up can take up the slack or it will be a very long season.

  2. It is sad to hear the news about Ellison with several saying it isn’t a good situation he is in. You get to liking a young man for the things he does in the off season and on the field and then get smacked with a situation like this. It just goes to show young people are unpredicatable and you never know what can happen with them. We see this with our kids or their friends and classmates, the football players are no different.

  3. WOW!! This one really hurts. I’ve been pumping up Ellison to anyone that would listen. I guess we are forever doomed as IU football fans.

  4. Obviously, IU is not immune from such problems, but this is the last thing our football program needed. Our best running back ineligible for the indefinite future. But more importantly, and with no knowledge of what Ellison did to get suspended, this saddens me. It is another case of a young man with a bright future making bad decisions that could affect the rest of his life. I hope his behavior, or whatever offense he committed, was not too serious.

    1. Nobody was saddened when Kelvin’s players effed up.
      But when Allen or Crean’s players eff up/effed up? Sadness. Tears. Handkerchiefs. Kelvin Sampson’s version of fan sadness when his kids made mistakes? THUGS!
      Oh, how the times they have a changed…Not so long ago, it all fell upon the coach. Now it’s just sadness for the degenerate actions of players…or the accused wife-battering assistant, etc. etc.
      Doesn’t matter how Christian or Wonder “Honor” Bread your coach…Bad players and bad behavior can knock upon anyone’s door.

      Let’s keep calling them what they are…even without the facts or care of the circumstances outside their college life. They are THUGS!…and the coach must be held accountable for his thugs.

  5. Huge blow to a team that was to be built on the running game. Why is it always a star player with IU that gets into trouble? Why can’t it be a reserve long snapper? Maybe the 2 freshmen rb’s can pick up some of the slack by committee. … Same old IU- fragile teams lacking depth with star players that get hurt or get in trouble. Anyone think defensive coordinators are up at night worrying about the 3 dimensional chess of a Mike DeBord offense led by 6 yards per attempt Peyton Ramsey and a stable of star running backs including {insert name here}? “Break Through!”

  6. I hope the RBs IU has will step up and show they can move the ball on the ground. Thankfully Scott has shown he could be capable to fill a role. If Walker is as good as he was rated he needs to start stepping up and showing he can do the job this year behind what could be a pretty good OL. I hope Gest can see the holes and use his speed to have a great year.

    It is a shame about Ellison because he showed a lot of promise to be a RB that could gain
    1200 yards or more. It just means others have a shot to show they can be the “man” and have a great year.

  7. Can you whisper the serious offense to us, JPat? Nobody will hear if you whisper.

  8. JPat, is the a criminal matter? Are we going to be reading about an arrest within the next few days?

  9. “Indefinite” does rather imply serious. Tsao sure disappeared. Reports have him last seen at a Tsao-co Bell.

  10. Yes Po and it depends, but I’d answer yes to your 2nd question as well. I hope it’s kept hush! Harv, that was good!

  11. I’d hate for my fate to be in the hands of 18-22 year old ‘men’ who have mostly been coddled a good portion of their lives.

  12. At least the problem is with a player, and not the problems involving the coaching or training staff that Ohio State and Maryland, ( a player’s death) have.

  13. Losing arguably #1 back and a dent or ding, etc. don’t say IU has adequate depth at running back by major league big ten east standards.

  14. If you get between 80 and 100 young men together, odds are that a couple of them are going to make serious mistakes, and a couple more might just be bad people. I don’t care how careful any coaching staff is in evaluating and recruiting players, or how thorough they are in counseling players upon their arrival on campus, out of 100 young men, there are going to be some problems. And if you think about the increasing number of young men, regardless of race or household income, growing up without fathers in the home or as a part of their lives, it’s a miracle that we don’t have more young men that behave badly or make major mistakes. When I was growing up, I did know anyone my age whose parents were divorced! Not one! When my daughters were in High School, about half of their friends were living in a single-parent household. Many of my daughters’ friends, both boys and girls, had no relationship with their fathers. I can attest that had it not been for my father, specifically my fear of my father, I don’t believe I would have survived to see my 19th birthday. His love, affection, principles and stern discipline kept me out of big trouble until I was mature enough to reason and think properly. Boys growing up without loving fathers in their lives, are at much greater risk of making huge mistakes that can alter the course of their lives.

    When you read the news about what has gone on at other schools, like MSU, it makes you wonder how much bad behavior is covered up by these universities? Just guessing, but I’d bet that IU has far fewer athletes that get into serious trouble than most schools.

    1. Simply because it’s an easy example always in our face….but our current Commander in Chief had a very present father. He sure turned out wonderful….Dignified, honorable, trustworthy, decent, principled, faithful…the list goes on and on.
      You can have a father and end up in worse shape than if you’d had none at all in the household. Being there….but not really “being there” can be ever more damaging. A father in the house who demeans or doesn’t respect women is, again, probably going to create dysfunction and more problems than a one parent scenario.
      We shouldn’t oversimplify. There are many who cannot live up to the job of raising children(mothers and fathers alike).

  15. That’s what all universities/schools say and not just universities/schools. Isn’t the problem always over there and not us. Examples; politics/politicians, gymnastics, any number of professional sports, entertainment, educational system, government, societies, any number of groups…until the problem, trouble, criminal is caught or uncovered. In reality laws and behavioral norms are only as good as people make them. Yes, as much as possible bad behavior is ignored or covered up as much as possible.

  16. PO, you’ve stated the reality, both about the odds of a few busts in any group of 80-100 people and the role (non-role, maybe I should say) of absent fathers. But blaming absent fathers is off-limits anywhere except private discourse; any public figure who mentions that is howled down as an insensitive bigot. That attitude is not only a total denial of the problem, but a real disservice to the fathers who keep being the best fathers they can be to eye-rolling, sotto voce sarcastic, teen-aged sons.

  17. Meant to include religion and churches/Chatholic, health care, and investment companies, all large corporations. The list could go on and on. Add your own.

  18. Damn go to Alaska for a week and a half and all hell breaks loose in Bloomington.
    Now the true worth of Cole Gest will be on display.

  19. davis, I don’t lose any sleep over some PC idiots who might call me names for stating the facts. Aside from basic common sense (increasingly rare these days), the data is clearly supports the statements I made above. And as I said, it has nothing to do with race or socio-economic status. Boys growing up without fathers in their lives are at far greater risk of making terrible decisions that can have serious negative consequences affecting the rest of their lives.

  20. I don’t buy the whole…he didn’t have a father in the home crap. I didn’t and I seem to be doing pretty well. It’s about having a moral compass. Also, kids are entitled today and built up by so many…humility and respect for the human race is lost within that. I work with at-risk youth every single day in hopes to be a role model for these kids. I latched on to my coaches who were and still are my heroes. They set a good example for me and I followed. Lastly, it’s about not repeating the cycle…I chose not to and I preach that daily. When these kids screw up…it is ON THEM!

    1. Well said JPat,
      The only caveat I would make is the coaches can be heroes as long as they set a good example.

    2. BRAVO JPat!! You, I am certain, produce Top Notch results. I tip my hat to you with vigor. You work in an area that I just can’t fathom or have the male parts to step into. Thanks

    3. They are “entitled,” JPat. And where are any adult role models in our precious sports world telling/showing them they shouldn’t be? Is a college basketball coach really “entitled” to 30-50 million over 10 years? Is an NFL receiver entitled to 95 million over 5 years? Do you watch the news? Do you not see attorneys and businessmen associated with the highest levels of our country “entitled” to tax evasion and using their millions to pave their roads to success in cheating and corruption?
      I comment you for working with troubled kids….I also feel that kids are an easy target when juxtaposed against the adults who are building a culture and an America where consumption, power, disrespect for women/mothers(e.g. Urban Meyer, Mark Cuban’s Mavericks organization), lack of humility, widening of spaces between rich and poor(elite rich writing all their own rules and benefiting from falsely propped up stock markets not reflective of the real health/status of living of a majority of citizens). We are providing this backdrop for the youth of our country.
      Flag waving is the order of the day …while real morals and valuing the true worth of a dollar, with any semblance of humility and social responsibility attached to it, becomes the muck to anchor examples of country and family.
      Have we mentioned adult priests violating children by the hundreds of thousands? Have we mentioned mass shootings and the corporate greed surrounding the millions upon millions of dollars via the sales of guns continually placed at the head of the class over any reasonable restrictions to protect are “entitled” kids at their schools?

  21. Chet, a couple of my coach heroes have fallen for sure…but, they helped me in so many ways when I needed it and were good role models at the time. Clarion, I appreciate that more than you know. As I get older, I take more home with me in my head so I am not sure how much longer I will last.

    1. In my youth I was a paramedic working out of a Level 1 trauma center. After 5,000 calls I had to go. Way too much mental baggage.

      Don’t overstay your psychological welcome.

  22. JPat, the kids you interact with are very fortunate to have you in their lives. I commend you for what you do for them. The problem is, there aren’t enough men like you out there interacting with kids that are at risk.

  23. Chet, good advice. I hope to get my full time in for pension sake. Po, you are correct. I always wonder why more don’t want to help. Anyway…planning my wonderful Saturday and hitting a place in B town to watch the game. I don’t get CBS sports network…bad deal!

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