Posted: Aug 4, 2014 10:11 PM by Mihir Bhagat, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
Updated: Aug 5, 2014 12:07 PM
COLUMBIA - The Mizzou football team reacted to Levi Copelin's suspension Monday.
"It was a poor judgement on his part and that hurts our team," Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said. "He's apologized to them and we'll move on."
The NCAA suspended the redshirt sophomore wide receiver. last week. In a statement Copelin said he failed a drug test for taking an over-the-counter supplement, which is legal to the public but banned by the NCAA. Copelin will have to sit out the entire 2014-2015 football season but Missouri wide receiver Darius White said he believes the penalty is too harsh.
"I don't think it should be for a full year," White said. "I think he's fine. Whatever he took is okay. But that's the NCAA. You have to play by the rules."
After watching his teammate receive a year-long suspension, Missouri wide receiver Bud Sasser said it was a learning experience for the entire team.
"It takes one time and then everybody realizes it's a really big deal," Sasser said. "You hate that it happened to Levi but it happened. We have to move on from it."
Copelin is allowed to practice but cannot play in games or travel with the team. He also loses one year of eligibility which means he will only have two years of eligibility remaining.
"He's still working hard even though he's suspended which says a bunch about his character," Missouri left tackle Mitch Morse said.
Without Copelin, the Tigers only have three receivers on the roster who have caught a pass in a college game before. Those three are seniors Bud Sasser, Darius White and Jimmie Hunt, all of whom will start this season.
Another name to look out for is redshirt freshman J'Mon Moore, who has big play ability with his speed. Pinkel also said he's looking to see if freshman wide receivers such as Nate Brown, DeSean Blair or Lawrence Lee can make a contribution this upcoming season. Plus, running back Marcus Murphy practiced with the wide receivers Monday, so don't be surprised if the team uses him more in the passing game.