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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 20, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Middleton dismissed from Huskies for violation of team rules

Tight end Kavario Middleton has been dismissed from the University of Washington football team for what the school has termed “a violation of team rules.”
A school spokesman said that neither the school, nor head coach Steve Sarkisian, will have any further comment.
It is unclear what may have led to the dismissal. Middleton, a graduate of Lakes High and one of the team’s top recruits for the Class of 2008, had been attending the team’s regular summer workout sessions as recently as last week.
Middleton, who would have been a junior in 2010, started 11 of 12 games for the Huskies in 2009 and was the leading receivers among tight ends with 26 receptions for 257 yards and three touchdowns — the most catches for a tight end since Kevin Ware’s 42 in 2002.
He had fallen to second team at the end of spring practice, however, behind junior Chris Izbicki, and the battle for that spot figured to be one of the most heated of fall camp.
Middleton was one of the most highly-touted recruits of the Class of 2008, named a Parade All-American and the No. 4 tight end in the country by SuperPrep.
With Middleton gone, Izbicki will enter camp as the starter and UW will suddenly be thin at a spot that looked like it could be a position of strength. Also listed as tight ends are redshirt freshman Marlion Barnett, walk-on Marek Domanski and true freshman Michael Hartvigson. Also a possibility is Dorson Boyce, who came to UW as a JC transfer tight end in 2009 but was moved to fullback in the spring.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m. — One thing I can add is that this does not appear to be related to anything legally. Middleton’s legal record does not show anything significant.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m. — A couple more things to add. Also doesn’t sound as if it was academic. People have asked about drug tests, but UW is not allowed to randomly test for drugs per state rules.
What it sounds like is that this may have been a gradual building up of issues.
Middleton had frustrated coaches with his effort at times. He also upset them with the comments he made before the Apple Cup last season (which were caught on TV so he couldn’t claim to be misquoted).
It’s also known that Middleton asked to walk-on to the basketball team last year and was told he couldn’t by the UW football coaches, who wanted him to concentrate on football and didn’t feel as if he’d earned the right to play try to juggle two sports. Middleton was known to be a little miffed by that.
Sarkisian also caught reporters a bit off-guard last spring when he said that Izbicki was the starter at tight end, saying he hoped it might challenge Middleton to improve his game.

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