Many 'Nole fans wondered why freshman receiver Kelvin Benjamin was not dressed out for yesterday's game against ULM. Yes, Benjamin had been underwhelming in practice and would likely redshirt, but other players destined for redshirts did dress out. And Florida State did not announce an injury or suspension. Benjamin stood on the sideline in a jersey and shorts. You have to wonder, what's up with Kelvin Benjamin?
I've received quite a few emails on this issue and figured it would be better to put out the known facts to avoid speculation and rumor. Here is what we know and what we do not know at this point.
1:30 Update: Reached at the number listed in the directory, Kelvin's mother said:
"He is enrolled at Florida State and has no plans to go to Marshall."
So there you have it. As noted in the original story, Kelvin being listed in Marshall's directory could simply be a mistake. Previous story below.
This image below is from the Marshall.edu phone directory and may provide some clarity:
That's Benjamin listed in the directory. But don't go jumping to conclusions just yet.
This does not mean Benjamin is enrolled at Marshall. And he certainly was not in West Virginia yesterday.
There is still a lot we don't know about this story. For instance, when was KB added to the directory? Could it have been during some type of pre-registration during his official visit? Was it recent?
It's entirely possible that a student could be added to a directory without being enrolled.
It is known that Marshall has the ability to take kids without qualifying academic credentials as regular students. They cannot play for the first year, but are then eligible. Could Benjamin have registered as a backup plan in case he failed to qualify at FSU? Players sometimes double-register with a junior college or prep school in addition to the university of choice.
And it is known that Benjamin had a lot of classwork to make up to get eligible. Like many kids, some of this work may have been done via some online schools. The NCAA is taking a much closer look at these online high schools of late. Could they have rejected some of Kelvin's coursework? Could the NCAA have flagged some of the courses for further review?
Miami commitment Kevin Grooms had similar issues recently and is thought to be headed to Marshall. He is also listed in the directory.
Benjamin was not going to be a contributor to FSU this year. At all. He has been a non-factor in practice and is likely several years away from contributing.
Is there a qualifying issue? If so, has it already been worked out? If not, can it still be worked out in FSU's favor? Is Benjamin unhappy with being dead last on the depth chart with no prospects for early playing time? These are all questions not officially answered by FSU.
When a player who is not suspended or injured doesn't dress for a game, it raises questions. Let's see how this plays out.