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Archive for Wednesday, August 26, 1998

HARTSOCK COLUMN

August 26, 1998

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The injury-forced sabbaticals Dan Dercher and Jay Alexander will have to take from Kansas University's football team might not last past the opener, after all.

Dercher, a starting offensive tackle, and Alexander, KU's No. 2 quarterback, both suffered torn medial collateral ligaments during practices last week, and both were expected to have to sit out Kansas' season-opener on Sept. 5 against Oklahoma State.

But there's a chance one or both might be cleared to play today.

``We'll know more (today),'' KU coach Terry Allen said Tuesday. ``I'm sorry I don't have more information, but I'm at the discretion of medical expertise.''

Both are wearing flexible braces that help support the torn knee ligaments and prevent further tears.

To replace Dercher, senior Jerome Parks and red-shirt freshman Bob Smith have been promoted to co-No. 1s at left tackle.

``We're coming together,'' right tackle Michael Lies said. ``Last year, it would have been a lot more problems. But we have Jerome Parks. He's a veteran, and Bob Smith looks good. I don't think it's going to affect us much.''

If starting QB Zac Wegner stays healthy, the backup quarterback shouldn't affect them too much, either. True freshman Jonas Weatherbie has ascended to No. 2 to replace Alexander.

Walk-on freshman Jake Letourneau is now the No. 3 quarterback.

If not cleared to play today against OSU, Dercher and Alexander are expected to be OK'd for KU's second-week meeting with Missouri.

Williams decision delayed: The NCAA has not ruled on wide receiver Algen Williams' waiver request and likely won't until Sept. 1. Williams is asking for a waiver that would allow him to play in arrears on his coursework because of bad advice given to him by his counselors at Hutchinson Community College. Three hours his Hutch advisors said would transfer to KU did not, leaving him short of eligibility. Allen said his case went to one committee but bounced to another. That committee is expected to hear Williams' case on Sept. 1, four days before KU's opener.

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