Lovie Smith chimes in on Ra'Von Bonner's decision to transfer
Illinois running back Ra’Von Bonner made some news on Monday by announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal. But the actual act of entering the portal was just a small part of that story.
Bonner opted out of playing this season for the Illini due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. He said when discussing the decision to leave Champange he mentioned that he thought coaches would hold the decision to sit out 2020 against him.
That remark certainly set off a few things. With his normal Monday press conference happening shortly after the Bonner news emerged, Illinois head coach got a chance to address what Bonner said.
. @sryantribune asks Lovie Smith about Ra'Von Bonner feeling opting out could be held against him.
"I don't know exactly what we did what was wrong. I've communicated with Ra'Von this week. …I don't buy that. We don't treat our players that way."
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) November 9, 2020
Bonner still has a season of eligibility and will likely be considered a graduate transfer. That means he will be able to play right away. In 2019, he had 65 carries for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
This appears to be the first time we’ve seen a player say that he thought opting out of the 2020 season would cause friction with the coaches. That might be the case, but Smith did push back pretty hard against Bonner’s story.
This may be the start of an interesting conflict happening around the college football world.