NOTE: There will be no Ten@10 today. It will run tomorrow instead.
In the end, Christian LeMay and his family didn’t like any of their options. So they chose “none of the above.”
LeMay, a five-star quarterback from Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., who committed to the University of Georgia on April 30, has decided to forgo his senior year of high school to complete graduation requirements “in a private setting,” according to his father. He will not play football other than to prepare for his college career with private trainers.
Pastor Stacy LeMay told the AJC Monday night his son was unsuccessful in his appeal of a 30-day suspension from school for an undisclosed violation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools code of conduct. The LeMays have never disclosed the nature of that “youthful indiscretion” but insist it “does not involve drugs, weapons or any form of violence.”
Accepting the suspension and the requisite placement in an alternative school would have meant missing all but the final month of the regular season in football and delaying graduation, Stacy LeMay said.
“Adhering to such a severe ruling would not only prevent Christian from playing until November due to the 10-day conditioning rule, but it would also hinder him academically as the alternative school does not provide the required classes needed for him to finish in the fall of 2010 and move on to the University of Georgia in January,” Stacy LeMay said in statement sent to selected media outlets late Monday night.
The family explored the possibility of transferring to other schools, including Byrnes High in South Carolina and Victory Christian Center in Charlotte. But Mr. LeMay said his son “could not imagine playing his senior season at any place other than with his brother Uriah and his teammates at Butler High School.”
Mr. LeMay would not say whether his son had been assured his admission to Georgia with his freshman eligibility intact.
LeMay led Butler to a 15-0 record as a junior quarterback last season. He passed for 3,296 yards with 44 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Those stats helped LeMay earn a five-star ranking from Scout.com. Both Scout and Rivals have him rated as the No. 3 quarterback in America and The Sporting News ranks him No. 1.
LeMay chose Georgia from an offer sheet of more than 35 schools, including finalists Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.
No members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools could be reached late Monday night.
Following is a statement sent out Monday night from the LeMay family:
We first want to thank all of those who have supported our family during this time. The emails, letters, text and words of encouragement have been life fueling from supporters of Christian both locally and nationwide. Specifically we want to thank UGA 2011 class recruits Christian Conley and Ray Drew for standing with our son and contacting him daily and Panthers wide receicver Kenny Moore and quarterback training coach Steve Calhoun for working him out over the summer. Also, The Sporting News and all the other recruiting networks that maintained Christian’s national ranking on their boards.
As a result of Christian’s youthful infraction (that does not involve drugs weapons or any form of violence), Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools imposed a severe punishment on our son in which we appealed to their highest form of due process. On July 26, the CMS board maintained the merciless ruling of a 40-day reassignment to an alternative school, “to possibly be reviewed in 30 days.” [That would have been] in addition to a four-day suspension already served. The ruling also states that after completing the reassignment he could “possibly” return to Butler. Meaning it is “possible” that he could NOT return to Butler. Adhering to such a severe ruling would not only prevent Christian from playing until November due to the ten day conditioning rule (if he returned to Butler), but it would also hinder him academically as the alternative school does not provide the required classes needed for him to finish in the fall of 2010 and move on to the University of Georgia in January.
Given the unwillingness of CMS to apply a more reasonable consequence for such a youthful infraction, as disheartening as it is, we must make the decision to move on and focus Christian’s attention to preparing for enrollment at the University of Georgia in January. Although rumors suggest that Christian would likely transfer to one of the excellent programs such as S.C. Byrnes, South Point, Greensboro Dudley and even Victory Christian Center, Christian could not imagine playing his senior season at any place other then with his brother Uriah and his teammates at Butler High School.
Therefore, having come to resolve that following the CMS consequence would not accomplish “student achievement” for Christian. We as a family have concluded that he will forgo his senior football season and focus on his preparation to attend the University of Georgia. We are quite honored that other colleges continue to show strong interest in Christian attending their school. However, we have continued healthy communications with UGA coaches and the commitment remains the same on both ends.
Christian will now prepare himself for the next season of his life as he takes this time to become stronger spiritually, academically and physically. With the help of fitness trainer Andy Hendel of CrossFit Charlotte and quarterback coach Steve Calhoun of Armed and Dangerous, Christian will certainly be prepared to arrive in Georgia this spring ready to compete. We are fully confident that his best days are still yet to come. GO BULLDOGS!!!
The LeMay Family