Missouri State head football coach Dave Steckel announced that quarterback Breck Ruddick has been suspended for the remainder of 2016. He will be eligible to return next season as long as he meets strigent guidelines set by Steckel.
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“The University and our staff believe these charges are very serious,” Steckel said. “(Ruddick) has admitted to these actions and takes full responsibility. He’s apologized to the team and to the University.
“As a result of this one-time abuse, (Ruddick) will not play for the remainder of the 2016 football season.”
Ruddick was suspended the night prior Missouri State’s Sept. 24 game against Kansas State as allegations of dog abuse arose on social media.
Ruddick will not be allowed to travel with the team for the remainder of this season and “must meet certain standards to be able to compete and play for MSU next year,” Steckel said.
When asked what those specific standards were, Steckel declined to elaborate.
“That’s a great question… that I’m not going to answer,” Steckel said. “He’ll have a written contract from me, by me, and if he breaks any of (the guidelines) – which will be very strict and strenuous, just think of my Marine Corps background – if he breaks any of those, all the way from academics, through social environment, through program, he will then be dismissed.”
Steckel met with Ruddick before Monday’s announced to inform the redshirt sophomore quarterback of his decision.
“I think (Ruddick’s) mindset is partial relief. His complete mindset is remorse. His complete mindset is sorrowful,” Steckel said. “He understands, I’ve made it very clear to him, that with his actions there’s discipline.
“I read him a Bible quote that says, ‘People do not like to give discipline, but God disciplines all his children.’ I’m not God. I do not pretend to be that. But we have to have discipline on our football team. The actions were wrong and he has to be held accountable for that.”
The Animal Control division of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department cited Ruddick on Sept. 26 after its investigation of animal abuse claims. The municipal ordinance citations were for animal cruelty and allowing a dog to run at large.
The case is still ongoing by the municipal prosecutor.
“The Office of Student Conduct is reviewing this case and they will determine their own disciplinary actions,” Steckel said. “As players, as coaches, along with the entire football staff and our program, we’re now going to focus on the remainder of our 2016 football season. We will continue to represent Missouri State in a positive and productive fashion, today and every day.”
Ruddick will remain on scholarship, Steckel said.