LU Football Team Coach Gives Player Second Chance
Lynchburg, VA - Liberty University is taking a big hit for letting a football star back on the team.
Asa Chapman has been suspended since August 30 when he was arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession by Lynchburg police.
But the team's coach Danny Rocco says everyone, including Asa Chapman, deserves a second chance.
As you can imagine, there is plenty of criticism for the coach's decision, and some accuse him of doing it to win football games.
"Asa was treated as any other student at Liberty University," said Rocco.
After some disappointing losses for the LU team, # 98 will return to the field Saturday when the Flames face off against Lehigh University.
Coaches and players expect the return of their all-American defensive lineman to make a big difference.
"I would like to think that he'd be able to play in the neighborhood between 15 to 20 plays in this game," said Rocco.
"He plays a very important role to the team and we all miss him," said Jaquan Glover, a wide receiver.
But felony drug charges are still pending against Asa Chapman. He was suspended in August for breaking the strict Baptist school's code of conduct related to the arrest.
"I was happy that the school was standing up for its morals and so it's kind of disappointing that they are flip flopping now," said Josh Tarpley, an LU junior.
Some even accuse Rocco of caring more about winning than holding Chapman accountable.
"We're supporting one of ours, a guy that made a mistake. And for me to be criticized over that, I really don't care," said Rocco.
The coach says his decision is more about forgiveness and second chances than anything else.
"He's shown great humility, remorse and great will and desire to make it right," said Rocco.
Since his arrest, Chapman has received counseling, academic support and mentorship from Liberty University.
In terms of getting back to football, Rocco says Chapman will play in Saturday's game but will not start unless there is an injury.