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August 22, 2009The Nebraska football team suffered a major blow to their offense on Saturday when head coach Bo Pelini announced that junior running back Quentin Castille has been dismissed from the program for violation of team rules.
Pelini told the media on Saturday that his guidelines are laid out pretty clear and the decision to dismiss Castille was a pretty easy one.
"Quentin Castille has been dismissed from the football team," Pelini said. "He is no longer a member of the football team. We have guidelines, we have policies that we've set up here, we have a culture we have set up here. It's pretty black and white my expectations and what we lay out as a staff, and if someone doesn't follow those policies and guidelines, they're no longer going to be with the program, and that's the case with Quentin.
"I wish him luck. He's a good kid, he's just not going to be with our program anymore. I wish him luck in the future. The book is closed on that."
Castille was considered to be a major part of the Husker offense heading into 2009. As a sophomore he had 106 carries for 467 yards and six touchdowns, including a game-high 18 carries for 125 yards in Nebraska's 26-21 win over Clemson in the Gator Bowl.
With Castille now out of the picture at running back, NU will have to rely heavily on junior Roy Helu Jr. to carry the load. Pelini also said on Saturday that true freshman Rex Burkhead has elevated himself into the No. 2 running back spot behind Helu.
"Right now I'd say Rex Burkhead is clearly the No. 2 running back, but that can change," Pelini said. "He's smart, he's very talented, he's tough and he learns well. We have a long ways to go though before we play a football game. I'm not trying to elevate him to where he's Franco Harris yet, but he's coming along, as are the other guys.
"I saw a lot of good things out there from the backs today. I saw some good things out of (Austin Jones), (Dontrayevous Robinson) is doing better and I thought at times Collins Okafor did some good things today and Lester Ward brings a big body and a presence to the position. We have a lot of depth at the running back position."
Another move NU made was they took sophomore Marcus Mendoza and switched him back to running back from wide receiver. However, Pelini said Castille's dismissal had nothing to do with the decision to move Mendoza.
"We were moving Marcus (Mendoza) back over there any way," Pelini said. "It was more his choice, that started happening a couple of days ago."
Pelini had no comment on Saturday when asked what the team's reaction was about the decision to dismiss Castille.
Once again, Pelini referred back to his policies when talking about his decision to dismiss Castille.
"It's black and white," Pelini said when asked about how he arrived at the decision to dismiss Castille. "It's not tough in the way I go about running this football program.
"If there is a violation and people go against the rules and the guidelines we've set up, it's black and white?we show you the door. Nobody is above the football team. I have a program to run both short term and long term."