*UPDATE: Today (Monday) we learned that neither Trestan Ebner nor John Lovett will be opting out of the rest of the season, according to David Smoak’s interview with head coach Dave Aranda. Perhaps certain editors in chief of Baylor fan blogs should hold information to themselves before causing mass panic about the actions of two young athletes. I’m thankful that Ebner and Lovett got what they needed to stay on the team!*
I usually write a recap about Baylor’s Saturday football game on Sundays, but because yesterday’s match up was so frustrating and today’s news is far more important to the future of the team, I thought I’d share the latter instead. In a shocking but unconfirmed report this afternoon, Baylor fans learned that team standouts and senior star running backs Trestan Ebner and John Lovett are opting out of the rest of the 2020 season. The news was released on the heels of Baylor’s 27-16 defeat against Texas (the worst team in the history of football and the world, obviously) following their COVID outbreak and last week’s Homecoming game cancellation. No. 1 Ebner and No. 7 Lovett both earned single digits prior to the season’s start (I wrote about the nine players who secured the honor here), which is an enormous responsibility and recognition voted on by the team. Lovett was the only one of the bunch who earned his single digit four years in a row. Because both Ebner and Lovett are considered two of the team’s main leaders as seniors and haven’t had any disciplinary trouble before, the report is especially worrisome. Of course, the Bears haven’t had a good or conventional season thus far. The first game against Kansas last month (recap here) was a fantastic showing and head coaching debut for Baylor’s Dave Aranda, but the weeks following have been a whirlwind of setbacks. The Bears had three game cancellations (Ole Miss, Houston, Oklahoma State) including the best part of Homecoming, they had a team-wide COVID outbreak that prevented numerous days of practice, and the lost contests against West Virginia (a terrible game, but here’s the recap) and Texas showcased an offense worse than almost any group in the nation. Nevertheless, Ebner and Lovett have been extremely bright spots over the past four years, which is why we must wait to hear news from the athletes themselves and not cast any judgment or anger in their direction, especially since we know nothing about the reasoning behind the choices they’re making. Over the past three games, Ebner recorded 19 carries for 55 yards and 1 TD, 10 catches for 115 yards and 1 TD, and 5 kick returns for 237 yards and 2 TDs (one of which was 100 yards). In his career, he’s had 164 carries for 839 yards and 7 TDs and 83 catches for 1,047 yards and 7 TDs. This season alone, Lovett had 35 carries for 122 yards and 1 TD as well as 5 catches for 21 yards and 1 TD. In the past four years, Lovett has 345 carries for 1,795 yards and 17 TDs and 25 catches for 155 yards and 1 TD. Losing Ebner and Lovett for whatever reason would be devastating for the team and Baylor fans, but I hope for the best for both athletes going forward.