BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach with suspended tailback Michael Holmes, who is facing a felony charge after a fight early Sunday morning.
“I think we need to let it play out,” Beamer said during a teleconference Thursday.
“I think there’s definitely two sides of the story on this one.”
Holmes, a sophomore from Harrisonburg, is free on bond but suspended indefinitely from the team after being charged with malicious wounding, a felony, and two counts of simple assault, misdemeanors, stemming from a fight early Sunday morning.
During the teleconference to wrap up spring practice, Beamer was asked about the pecking order for the tailbacks as spring ended. He said that was one of the topics the coaches discussed when they went over personnel matters during a lengthy meeting Monday. Tuesday, Beamer said coaches met with players to tell them where they stood within the program.
“I think Trey Edmunds has to be right in the mix and I think he is,” Beamer said of the redshirt freshman tailback. “There’s no question he’s in the mix. We’ll see where Michael Holmes’ situation goes. I think there’s probably two sides to that. That’s to be decided where that is. And then I think [Chris] Mangus and [J.C.] Coleman, in certain packages, and Tony Gregory when he gets back, we’ll use him in certain roles. Right now the top three as far as tailbacks are Edmunds, Holmes and Coleman.”
Earlier in the week, Tech associate athletic director Jon Jaudon said Holmes could participate in the team’s players-only, 7-on-7 drills this spring and summer if the players chose to hold those workouts on fields not controlled by the athletic department.
Under his indefinite suspension, Holmes can’t use any athletic department facilities, including weight rooms and fields.
“I’m going to say that if they go up to the rec fields, we don’t have a whole lot of jurisdiction on use of the recreation fields,” Jaudon said Wednesday. “But I don’t foresee that happening. … Off campus or up on field we don’t care for or monitor, I guess that could happen.”
Most often, athletic department fields are used for the workouts.
But Beamer made it sound like Holmes wouldn’t be a part of any team activities unless his suspension is lifted, which can’t happen as long as he’s facing a felony charge.
“He’s not involved with the football program at all,” Beamer said.
Also, Thursday, a source said Kierra Barnes, a 20-year-old Radford student arrested in connection with the Holmes’ case, suffered a black eye, broken nose and other facial lacerations. Barnes alleges Holmes struck her in the face during the fight, a charge Holmes’ attorney, Jimmy Turk, denied.
According to Holmes’ mother, Tonya Brandon, Holmes’ ex-girlfriend Ciara Simms, a sophomore sprinter on the Tech track team, and Barnes attacked Holmes’ current girlfriend, Karoline Seekford.
Holmes attempted to break up the assault and ended up in a fight with Barnes’ cousin, Antoine Barnes.
Holmes took to Twitter to express his feelings this week.
“To all the people who care and know me, thanks for being here for me in this situation….” Holmes tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Minutes later, Holmes tweeted: “It hurts to know that people really think I’m out here fighting everyone and don’t know what really happened. I’d never do some things said.”
Overall, Beamer said he was happy with what he called “an outstanding spring.”
“I think it had some things that need to get better,” Beamer said. “You like to identify them. The good thing is we’ve got some time here and there’s no t a limit on how much a guy can get in the weight room and lift or how much he does on his own here in the summer. Hopefully we’ll have several players that won’t be the same player they were last Saturday. Hopefully they’ll be better in some areas.”