Report: Ole Miss removes DT Robert Nkemdiche from Lott Trophy consideration

Not so much: Junior DT Nkemdiche has reportedly been removed from Lott Trophy consideration. 

Jason Getz/Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss may have just given its 6-foot-4, 295-pound star defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche the first stiff-arm of his football career. 

The Rebels have reportedly declined to include Nkemdiche for consideration for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, an award given annually to one elite defensive player. The junior DT’s omission was not tied to a specific incident. 

Yahoo’s Pat Forde was the first to shed light on the situation: 

When the Lott Impact Trophy folks sent out the lengthy ballot of quarterfinalists for the award for the nation’s top defensive player, there was a surprising footnote at the bottom: “ROBERT NKEMDICHE, DE, Ole Miss – School does not feel he meets academic standards.”

According to Yahoo, Lott Trophy spokesman Pete Donovan was asked for a further explanation of Nkemdiche’s absence from the list, Donovan gave this explanation: 

“We do not have a specific academic criteria, such as a minimum grade point average. We ask the Sports Information Directors if their student-athlete is attending and passing classes. In the case of Nkemdiche, Ole Miss notified us after the season began that they felt he did not qualify academically for our award.”.

While the Lott Trophy organizers do not have specific criteria in which they evalate players off the field, Ole Miss clearly does, as the school representatives had the following comments to add, via Yahoo: 

“Unfortunately (we) don’t feel that Robert is suitable for consideration. While stellar on the field, they don’t believe that he has the academics nor the community service that would be suitable for consideration.”.

Ohio State’s Joey Bosa and Baylor’s Shawn Oakman were also omitted from the Lott Trophy quarterfinal ballot after both were suspended for a game, Forde reported.