BLUE RAIDERS RIDDLED WITH LOSS OF QB, COVID ISSUES


Photo by Nathan Wallach / MT Athletics

Story by Ayanna Bronner / Contributing Writer

  • After three games into the season Bailey Hockman, a transfer from North Carolina State, decided to step down as quarterback on Sunday, although he will remain enrolled at MTSU as he is expected to graduate after fall semester. 
  • After the UTSA loss, Coach Stockstill, Coach Dearman, and Hockman personally got into an argument about manners unknown to us; however, if the timeline had been followed, this argument could have led to Hockman stepping down. 
  • Reported by MTN Sports Reporter/Anchor Noah Brady 
  • https://www.middletennesseenews.net/post/mt-qb-bailey-hockman-following-loss-at-utsa-walks-away-from-blue-raider-football  
  • Stockstill on Hockman: “Bailey came to me Sunday morning and told me he had made the decision not to play football any longer. We talked about it, shook hands and I wished him well and let him know how much I appreciated his time here.” 
  • Reported by the Daily News Journal 
  • https://www.dnj.com/story/sports/college/mtsu/2021/09/20/mtsu-football-quarterback-bailey-hockman-no-longer-blue-raiders/5789676001/  
  • Hockman on his decision to leave, “Football has taught me a lot, and I’m grateful for where it has gotten me in life, but for me it’s time to move on and start supporting my family soon-to-be newborn. I’m excited for the future and look forward to being a great father/husband. I want nothing but the best for everyone who helped me along the way. God’s plan is always greater.” 
  • Finishing his career at MTSU, Hockman completed 41 of 66 passes for 463 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions while leading MTSU to a 1-2, 0-1 Conference USA record this year. MTSU plays at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2-1, 0-0) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network, where Junior Chase Cunningham will take over as QB1. Cunningham has received playing time in all three games so far, completing 19 of 30 attempts for 259 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Cunningham took over in the latter half of the UTSA loss, and completed 9 of 18 attempts for 150 yards and two touchdowns. 
  • Sophomore Mike DiLiello will most likely become the second string quarterback behind Cunningham. DiLiello, who has played in the three games also, has not attempted a pass, but has four carries for 30 yards. 
  • Along with the loss of QB1, MTSU has also been riddled with COVID issues, becoming prominent after the Virginia Tech loss. One of the key starters, who played against VT, tested positive the Sunday following the game, which unintentionally affected many more players. According to the most recent report from Sept. 16, there are currently 18 active cases involving student athletes, notably pertaining to the football team. 
  • Chris Massaro, the athletic director at MTSU, responded to a question about possible contact tracing among VT players, saying, “Over the last year, there has been very little evidence that Covid is passed on to the opposition but as we learn every day, anything is possible with this disease and its variants. Our medical people, typically the team doctor, notifies the opponents medical people when there might be an issue. We send the opponents numbers of the individuals as well as the number of play they participated in. I know in this instance our team doctor notified the Va. Tech medical people very early in the week. 
  • Whit Babcock, the athletic director at Virgina Tech, was contacted for further comment about the possibly contact tracing. It was responded with, “It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment on any issues that an opponent may be involved in, but we can confirm that MTSU has been a great non-conference partner with us, and that communication between our two schools on all matters related to the game has been exemplary.” 
Photo by Nathan Wallach / MT Athletics
  • As more information surfaced about the COVID issues affecting the football team, it was revealed that vaccinated players are not tested, non-vaccinated players are tested twice per week, and if you tested positive, but no longer have it, you will not get tested for 90 days. 
  • In light of the increasing number of active cases among student-athletes, the testing protocol may need to be adjusted. 
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