Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Plenty of Talent at JU, but No Reward; QB Bell Starts for Fourth Season, Which Will End with No Postseason

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Plenty of Talent at JU, but No Reward; QB Bell Starts for Fourth Season, Which Will End with No Postseason

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott

The Jacksonville Dolphins have visions of a special type of season in 2015 ... on the field.

Away from the gridiron it's likely to be remembered as a season filled with resentment and frustration.

JU was hit with an additional one-year probation penalty by Pioneer League officials after the school was found to be misappropriating scholarship money to football players compared to other students on campus. No current Jacksonville players or coaches were implemented in any wrongdoing, but the 2015 team is taking the fall for careless deeds of former JU administrators.

Dolphins coach Kerwin Bell, in his ninth season with the Dolphins, found himself caught between supporting the school and providing an explanation to his team about why they are ineligible for a postseason berth.

"The toughest thing about this whole deal is all the kids did was sign up for a grant that was provided by our university," Bell said. "Some got accepted and some didn't, yet they have to pay the price. It's just tough on the kids to have to go through that.

"I don't agree with it and that's why I didn't have a statement in the early going. We had nothing to do with how the grant was to be administered, how it was supposed to spread out among all different students. We had no control of that. That's the frustrating part of it. Now, we've got to learn from this, move forward and do a better job in this area."

JU can move forward because there are several talented units on the field. On offense, it starts at quarterback where Bell's son, Kade, returns for his fourth season as a starter. He already holds the single-season passing mark of 3,181 yards as well as one-year records for pass attempts and pass completions. Bell worked hard over the summer, attending Peyton Manning's passing camp and adding 10 to 12 pounds of muscle. The latter was done with the hope of cutting down on some of the injuries he's had in the past.

"Hopefully that will prevent me from getting hurt," said Bell, a former Fleming Island standout. …

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