Cutting to the Chase: McGee dismisses Williams

By on August 13, 2013
Jackie Williams caught a pass in 35 straight games. He caught the hail mary pass to beat Troy in 2011 and was getting
attention from pro scouts before being dismissed from the program. (Photo by Kyle Thompson)

Senior receiver Jackie Williams leaves team after key roles on UAB’s offense

UAB Head Coach Garrick McGee made some position changes this week and on Friday announced that he was dismissing senior wide receiver, Jackie Williams, from the program.

In a statement made to the press, McGee cited “undisclosed reasons” for his decision but added several comments about Williams’s good character and his ability as an athlete. Yet this move was surprising not only to fans, but also to Williams, who received the news late Thursday.

Fans and student athletes both took to message boards and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to express their feelings on the subject. One of the more popular sites for UAB fans to voice their opinions about UAB athletics is Blazertalk.com, where user BlazerMatt ranted that it “basically looks like McGee kicked off one of the most popular players on the team to get more reps for an Arkansas transfer.”

While another user identified as WesternBlazer retorted “some of you are really pulling at straws here. Get rid of your best receiver to get reps for a new one who hasn’t been on a football field in 2 years and who caught a total of 2 passes in 2 years? Do you guys actually believe that? It’s ridiculous! Step back from the edge. Do not hit ‘SEND’.

Williams tweeted today that there is no animosity between them. Do not impugn the integrity of a coach or player with this kind of stuff. Feelings are hurt but life goes on.”

In fact Williams was not only UAB’s best receiver, but his performance last season ranked him No. 4 in school history with 140 receptions and 1,733 yards during his collegiate career. During the 2012-2013 season, Williams led the Blazers receiving core, catching 52 passes for 799 yards and one touchdown.

What seems to puzzle many fans is why Coach McGee would dismiss his leading receiver and one of the teams’ key players when UAB is just three weeks away from a date with Troy.

At this time there have been no reports of Williams having any academic troubles. Apparently, he did not violate any team rules or commit any NCAA violations. There have been no reports of drugs or alcohol related troubles, which just leaves questions with no answers in sight. It appears that the program is headed in a different direction, a direction that is opposite of Williams’ destination.

As for Williams’ destination, he still has his full scholarship and can continue to take classes at UAB, if he chooses to stay. He was also given a full release from UAB to transfer either in conference or out.

As for the receiving core, with Williams out of the picture that leaves the door wide open for players like Maudrecus Humphrey, a transfer student from Arkansas, and Darrin Reaves to step right in. Reaves, a running back, rushed for a total of 1,037 yards and caught 41 passes for 302 yards last season.

Regardless of the reason for his dismissal, life goes on for both Williams and UAB.

The Blazers face Troy in three weeks; therefore, whatever changes are necessary in order to move the program forward in a positive direction, please make those adjustments and do it quickly.

Chase Cole
Senior Staff Writer
chasecole@uab.edu

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