Santino Marchiol, LB who accused Texas A&M of NCAA violations, dismissed from Arizona after racist video emerges

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  • Kevin Sumlin
    American football coach
Arizona dismissed linebacker Santino Marchiol from the program. (Getty Images)
Arizona dismissed linebacker Santino Marchiol from the program. (Getty Images)

Santino Marchiol, the former Texas A&M linebacker who accused the A&M staff under new head coach Jimbo Fisher of NCAA violations and demeaning treatment, has been dismissed from the Arizona football team.

Marchiol followed Kevin Sumlin from A&M to Arizona after Sumlin was fired by the Aggies and subsequently hired in Tucson. Now, after a racist video involving Marchiol surfaced, Sumlin has removed him from the Wildcats team.

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“He was informed this morning that he’s no longer on the team,” Sumlin told reporters.

On Friday, a video apparently showing Marchiol during his time at Texas A&M, was posted online. The video appears to show Marchiol and a woman watching practice film.

From USA Today:

The video appears to show Marchiol and a woman watching film of him. On one occasion she asks, “Who’s 26, carrying the ball?” A male voice, seemingly Marchiol, responds “Yeah one of those monkeys.”

In another clip, the woman asks about a safety and he responds, “Yeah, they call him the monkey safety” followed by laughter.

In a statement to ESPN in response to the dismissal from the team, Marchiol’s attorney, Thomas Mars, seemed to confirm that it was indeed Marchiol in the video.

“As someone who helped lead the effort to advance diversity in the legal profession … I understand and respect the University’s decision,” Mars said to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “On the other hand, as someone who’s grown close to Santino and who knows the quality of his character, the depth of his faith, and the sincerity of his convictions, I’m heartbroken. What can be heard on the highlights video doesn’t reflect the values or beliefs of the young man that I’ve come to know.”

Marchiol went public with allegations against A&M last week

In an effort to become immediately eligible at Arizona, Marchiol levied an array of allegations against the Texas A&M program.

In an interview with USA Today, Marchiol described summer workouts that go well beyond what is allowed by the NCAA (they are supposed to be voluntary), said an Aggies assistant gave him cash — more than the NCAA allotted limit — to host recruits and said coaches and trainers forced him to practice through a serious injury.

Marchiol included all of this information in a waiver filed to the NCAA in order to gain immediate eligibility at Arizona. Marchiol redshirted his lone season at A&M but would have to sit out again in 2018 to satisfy NCAA transfer requirements. According to USA Today, the information presented by Marchiol drew “interest” from NCAA investigators.

There was a bigger picture to the Marchiol-A&M story

Before Marchiol was dismissed from the Arizona program, some wondered whether he could be setting a precedent.

If Marchiol was able to gain immediate eligibility by disclosing violations his former program allegedly committed, would other student-athletes follow suit?

We won’t know until another athlete follows the same route.

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