Getting kicked off your high school football team during your senior season is the last thing you think of.
For Alabama commit VanDarius Cowan, that is exactly what has happened to him.
According to Adam Lichtenstein and Jodie Wagner at the Palm Beach Post, Cowan was removed from the team per a U.S. Army-All American spokesperson said earlier today with him not being able to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7 in San Antonino.
However, Cowan’s removal from the team has him “indefinitely suspended” pending appeal to participate in the game, according to our media partner USA TODAY High School Sports. The honorary jersey ceremony for tomorrow has been canceled according to the report.
Cowan was benched during the first quarter of last week’s District 8A-9 contest against Wellington for a personal foul penalty. The Gators lost the game to the Wolverines, 12-10, costing them a chance at clinching the district championship. According to the report, Cowan was seen eating on the sideline and not paying attention to the game among other things after being benched.
After the news broke, Cowan tweeted out on his Twitter account, wishing the team “the best of luck” and wished he could have finished the season with them, according to the Post.
The Post also reported that Cowan’s offer to Alabama stands at “150 (percent),” in another tweet he posted on his account which is currently private.
However, according to our media partner, USA TODAY High School Sports, Cowan said on Twitter that “I ate a pack of skittles An talked to my mother during the game an I paid attention the whole game even talked An helped my teammates.”
As for what is next about Cowan trying to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl? An appeal.
Accoroding to U.S. Army All-American Bowl national recruiting director Erik Richards, the Army Bowl bylaws require a player complete the last game of the high school season to be eligible.
“Ninety percent of the time it’s because of an injury. A player doesn’t finish the season and then wants to play in the Army Game and puts himself in jeopardy of getting hurt again. Ten percent of the time it’s for situations like this,” Richards told media partner USA TODAY High School Sports.
“There are two sides to every story and he has an appeal process that we have been told he and his family are planning to take advantage of. The selection committee and management team will look at the situation after that.”
The appeal process could take up to two weeks.
Currently, Cowan is rated as a four-star linebacker and the 16th overall player in Florida by 247Sports Composite Rankings, Cowan has been a solid commit to Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide program since early April. He was also rated the No. 1 player on the Post’s Big Board rankings as well as the No. 1 player on ESPN West Palm’s Top 63 list of football players for the 2017 class.
— High School Hysteria (@Hysteria1063) October 24, 2016
USA TODAY High School Sports contributed to this updated report.
UPDATED at 6:45 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24, 2016