Lewis named starter; Middleton suspended

[7:30 UPDATE]

Chris Adkins will, in fact, be the starter at right cornerback on Saturday. Lynch said at the press conference earlier today that the spot was still open; but he and cornerbacks coach and co-defensive coordinator Joe Palcic decided to go with Adkins later in the day.


Indiana football coach Bill Lynch named Kellen Lewis the starting quarterback today, and also announced that star defensive end Greg Middleton — and three others — have been suspended for the season-opener against Western Kentucky on Saturday.

Lewis had been battling Ben Chappell for the starting nod after missing the spring and summer due to disciplinary issues.

Lynch said at his first formal press conference of the season today that he finally opted to go with the veteran starter because of his experience at the position.

Lynch also announced that Middleton, tight end Troy Wagner, safety Brandon Mosely and defensive end Kyle Kozak have been suspended for unspecified reasons.

Other notes of interest:

  • Chris Adkins has not been named the starter at corner, despite what the depth chart says. Lynch wants Adkins, Richard Council and Donnell Jones to continue fighting for the spot.
  • Emile Bass, a junior defensive tackle who played 16 games for Indiana, has decided to transfer.
  • Lynch said he expects to play three our four true freshmen this year and mentioned wide receivers Demarlo Belcher and Tandon Doss and offensive linemen Will Matte and Justin Pagan as possibilities. He isn’t sure what he’ll do with heralded tailback Darius Willis, but as with all freshmen he won’t play them unless he can get them enough snaps to make it worth it.
  • Jerimy Finch, the transfer from Florida, remains behind Austin Thomas at strong safety. Lynch praised Thomas and free safeties Nick Polk and Joe Kleinsmith for mentoring Finch, who is in a new system at a new school and is making the transition back to his old position. He played linebacker at Florida.


  1. “Unspecified reasons” How the heck is Lynch keeping all these screw-ups quiet? What did they do coach??????

  2. What mess? Its not like we haven’t had players suspended before. And is only for the WKU game. But continue to overreact if you must.

  3. And its not like Lynch is the only coach to be vague about this stuff. Do any of you actually follow college sports?

  4. The way I see it, our faithful H-T reporters would be able to find out if it was an academic issue or a legal issue. If it isn’t one of those, I’m fine with it being handled from within.

  5. My guess would be they missed a team meeting, workout, late to practice, or all of the above.

    I am also sure this is internal, if it was legal, we would already know, and acedemic issues would have came from last season, and we would have already known about that, especially since classes don’t start till next week.

    As for the Lewis decision, I am actually surprised that Lynch made this move, especially against a team like Western Kentucky. Why wouldn’t you stand by the kid who has done everything right and NOT been suspended from the team and at least give him a chance to get real game experience.

  6. I support a coaching staff willing to discipline instead of coddle. Reminder- these kids are here to go to school. Football, and any other collegiate sport, is and should be a means to THAT end. Like anyone, I’m curious as to the infraction, but I respect that sometimes, it just isn’t any of our business. I don’t run and tell the neighbors what my kids are in trouble for, but I still discipline as needed. These suspensions (for a game) certainly are not sufficient to convince me that we have a “mess”.

  7. You guys crack me up. If anyone really wanted to know the reasons behind the suspension all they would need to do is walk around campus or hang out at the Union and start asking. Kids know.

  8. Well, partying like a rock star and going awol gets you no game punhishment so these guys must have done something really bad.

  9. This is the internet MMP. We all don’t live in Bloomington. But since you are Sherlock Holmes, why don’t you go find out?

  10. Why is anyone surprised when the guy who is there every day and works hard, doesnt get suspended from the team is not the starter>>> when the guy who does get suspended is….

    Its all about winning and with less than 360 victories in 110 yrs of football at IU, you have to go with the best…..

    This of course speaks volumes to me about the coach……

  11. “Lewis had been battling Ben Chappell for the starting nod after missing the spring and summer due to disciplinary issues.”

    Is Ben Chappell a bad quarterback, especially to lose the job to a guy who missed spring or summer or does this really come down to going with the veteran?

    Respectfully asking?

  12. I am really shocked that Lewis was named starter. Publicly it does not look really good. Lynch was not my pick for Head Coach, but he is closer to it than we are, so I will wait and see how it plays out before passing judgment.

    At the saturday scrimmage though, Lewis did NOT look good.

    What about Middleton? What about Finch? Anybody got the latest on those guys?

  13. Lewis is just more of a game-changing performer. While I’m somewhat surprised they didnt just wait until game day, wasnt this inevitable?

    bhss- What’s that stand for by the way? (Haha). Sounds like Ben got valuable experience and will have his day. I just dont think IU can turn their back on a dual-threat like Lewis, especially after last year.

  14. Middleton needs to realize he’s got a great opportunity to be an All-American and make millions of dollars in the NFL and he’s not helping himself right now. Just stay out of trouble, go to class, work hard and you’ll be a millionaire.

  15. LMAO. If Chappell is named the starter, we would have 100 comments here talking about how stupid Lynch is. Now that Lewis is named the starter, ppeople STILL have issues. You gotta love the internet.

    KevinK, how does this not look good? Lewis served his suspension, and everyone knew he would have a chance to earn his job back. He did. Him possibly starting isn’t breaking news. Why does there always have to be something to whine about?

    And seriously bhss, what are you talking about? Lynch has punished players, no matter how big of a “star” they are.

  16. Jimmy,

    I think we all knew that Lewis would be the starter before the end of the season. I’m not upset about the decision to make him the starter.
    I just fail to understand why he wouldn’t give Chappell a chance to get some game time as the starter. After all, it is Western Kentucky, if Ben fell flat on his face in the first quarter, put Kellen in to clean it up.

  17. I understand where KevinK and Mike P are coming from. Chappell put his time in and its the first game against a team IU should beat handily. It would have been a credit to Chappell to let him start even if it was for a quarter or 2. That is what most coaches would have done. I am not a Lynch supporter…yet, but maybe Lynch needed to do this to get Kellen some confidence back. He looked in practice like he had lost his swagger so I am not going to question this move at all in the end. KevinK, nice to see you over here. I feel like the blog is updated much more often and the writers are not near as opinionated, biased,or get their panties in a bunch.

  18. J Pat, how do you know what most coaches would’ve done? EVERYONE knew Lewis was fighting to earn his job back. He apparently did.

  19. Didn’t Michigan lost to Appalachian State in their first game last year?

    We’re talking about a 7-5 team that went to their first bowl game in 13 years. I don’t think Lynch has the security to just give Chappell a token “thanks for your effort” start and hope Lewis can clean up if it doesn’t go well.

    For a team that could once again go 7-5 give or take a game, every game has bowl implications at this point.

  20. I believe I said that I would wait to give this decision a pass/fail.

    Lewis did not look good at the scrimmage IMHO and I have one just like you Jimmy.

    Do you think you get players’ attention more by taking away practice time or game time? Fair question?

    Now I said that I would agree that Lynch is closer to the situation and we’ll see how it goes. Has Lewis been the far superior talent in the past? Absolutely.

    Does IU need to win this game? Absolutely.

    With the psyche and discipline on this team, does Lewis give them the best chance to win? Short term maybe.

    Long term? I hope he has learned his lesson. The article in the Star seemed to indicate so. We’ll see.

    And if there weren’t questions and issues to discuss no matter what decisions are made, then why would we have these blogs?

    Thanks J Pat. I’ve been reading your input on here for awhile along with everybody else’s. I used to post on this one with another name, but somebody else is using it now.

    GoHoosiers! Beat WKU!
    {Please line up under center and run the ball a little like you tried to in the scrimmage.}

  21. Wow…Dan Rutigliano, A.J. Thompson, and now Emile Bass – what is up with all the pre-season transfers?

  22. Jimmy, I have been around the coaching circuit and keep up with what is the “right thing to do”. That is it man, no more…no less.

  23. Please stop disrespecting Western Kentucky University. The Hilltoppers will quickly rise to be a competitive D1 team. I’m glad they are playing an easy team like IU for their first game.

    Go Toppers!

  24. this is the same sh** iu basketball pulled for the last two years. and looked how well that turned out for us.

  25. I guess we should probably just shut down the entire university, right hoosierfan? Seriously, Lewis served his suspension. Move on. And do you REALLY think the “prestige” of IU is hurt by this? Once again, he already served his suspension.

    J Pat, and Kevin…I respect your opinions. Sorry if it seemed like I didn’t.

    Higgi, probably has to do with playing time. Just a guess though.

  26. In the end it’s about trying to keep some sort of momentum going from last year. Do you people really think that Ben Chapell could compete and win in the Big 10? Maybe in a few years. I believe in second chances as many have been given to me in the past. Ben Chapell will have his time, for now it’s time for Kellen to buck up dust off and lead this team to winning season for which there is no reason for us not to have. GO IU!

    -Loving the cream and crimson in Northern Indiana- (Can’t stand the irish in football) GO IU!

  27. Mike H,

    You asked “Do you people really think that Ben Chapell could compete and win in the Big 10?”

    My answer to that is without a doubt a YES.

  28. no jimmy shutting down the university wouldn’t be a very good idea at all. there are kids trying to get degrees and go to class this year, maybe even kellen lewis will be there. and j pat and kevin can now rest easy that you respect their opinions because i’m sure they care alot what you think.

  29. i agree that lewis did his part to get back on the team, but that doesn’t mean he did his part to earn the right to lead this team. i’m not trying to change your opinion, and i’m sorry for that last post. I’m just upset that we wouldn’t give chappell a chance to start the first game and prove he’s worthy of starting for the hoosiers when he did everything right when lewis did everything wrong

  30. Just a reminder here from the Hoosier Scoop/HoosiersHQ staff. Please avoid any comments that allege illegal activity by someone else unless you can provide solid evidence. We can’t allow unsubstantiated reports of illegal acts and must delete comments that include such reports.

    Thank you.

  31. I thank Doug for the above warning about avoiding comments that sound like you know a kid is doing something illegal. In this age, we all have some of the obligations that used to be assigned only to journalists – any of us can get our words in print and somebody will believe them. Secondly, Lynch has named Lewis STARTER, he didn’t say that Chappell wouldn’t play at all – I look for Ben to be used situationally, sometimes with Lewis also in the lineup.

  32. The lesson is, if you are going to break the rules, do it in the off season so you won’t miss any game time, you’ll just be excused from practice. The QB decision also speaks volumes about the staffs confidence in the rest of the team. They obviously think KL is their only chance to win.

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