Former Auburn and Arkansas State running back Michael Dyer is eyeing a return to Division I football. Although Arkansas is his first choice, the Hogs should not even entertain the possibility of bringing Dyer into the program.
Dyer was once one of the best and most sought-after running backs in the country. In 2010, the heralded recruit chose Auburn over his home-state team, Arkansas. Dyer played well as a freshman, even garnering the National Championship Game MVP honors when the Tigers won over Oregon. However, a lot has changed for Dyer since then.
In 2011, the sophomore running back averaged more than 100 yards a game and scored 10 touchdowns. However, prior to Auburn’s bowl appearance that season, Dyer was suspended for breaking team rules. Soon after, he was released from the program.
Dyer followed Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State, where he applied for permission to be immediately eligible, but the NCAA denied the motion so he had to set out during the 2012 season.
Dyer, though, never made it to the 2012 season with the Red Wolves as he was released from the program during the summer. The release came after an internal investigation of a reported traffic stop in March of that year, which later revealed to be a cover-up by the officer involved.
Dyer, who was not eligible to play during the 2012 season, transferred to Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, AR. He has spent his time working on an associate’s degree, which he is scheduled to receive at the end of this current semester.
Obviously, despite his talent, Dyer has a tendency to get into trouble away from the football field. This alone is enough to prevent most programs from taking a chance on the running back, but this is not his only drawback. Recent academic infraction allegations against Auburn stemming back to the 2010 team point to Dyer as a key component, and he is one of nine players listed in a report as being ineligible for the National Championship game.
Of course Dyer would increase the talent and depth to an Arkansas running game that looks to be formidable in 2013, but the cost of adding him is far too great.
He would bring scrutiny into academic eligibility of the program as well as character issues into the locker room, not to mention that he will undoubtedly leave after 2013 to pursue a pro career once he can prove to NFL scouts that he can still perform. First-year Arkansas coach Bret Bielema does not need a disrupting force in the locker room as he leads the team through a rebuilding process.
Despite interest from Dyer, Arkansas and Bielema should not seriously consider adding the troubled running back.