Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Parseghian rejoins team for Akron game

While kicker returns from 3-game suspension, MU loses injured Kirkpatrick, Clemens

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

OXFORD - Miami placekicker Jared Parseghian is expected to return to his field goal and extra-point duties Saturday after missing three games while under suspension.

Parseghian, 22, a fourth-year junior, was suspended Sept. 5 after being arrested by Oxford police and charged with two counts of theft, one of them a fifth-degree felony and the other a first-degree misdemeanor. The charges were in connection with the theft of a street sign and a piece of artwork from Uptown Park.

"I can't say too much about it, but as far as I'm concerned, it's been resolved," RedHawks coach Terry Hoeppner said Tuesday. "I was waiting for it to be more positive as far as the court is concerned, and it is. It's been resolved to the university's satisfaction."

Parseghian, the great-grandnephew of Ara Parseghian, who played and coached at Miami and coached at Northwestern and Notre Dame, has converted 18 consecutive field goal attempts.

Sophomore Todd Soderquist went 3-for-5 on field goals and 16-for-17 on PATs in Parseghian's absence. His longest field goal was his first one, a 31-yarder in MU's 44-14 win at Northwestern on Sept. 13.

KNOCK ON WOOD: The RedHawks will go into the Mid-American Conference portion of their schedule virtually unscathed physically. They've lost only two players to injury.

Fifth-year senior wide receiver Korey Kirkpatrick will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery last Wednesday to repair damage in his left knee. Kirkpatrick suffered his injury returning the opening kickoff at Northwestern. Miami will seek another year of eligibility for Kirkpatrick, Hoeppner said.

Fourth-year senior running back Luke Clemens might miss the rest of the season with back problems that Hoeppner said could require surgery.

Clemens, who gained 1,054 yards and scored 16 touchdowns last season, has missed Miami's last two games. He gained 33 yards while seeing limited action this season in the first two games.

THANKS, FANS: The program planned to place an ad in Miami's school newspaper thanking students, alumni and other RedHawks fans for their support in Saturday's "Victory Bell" win over the Cincinnati Bearcats before a crowd of 27,512 at 25,183-seat Yager Stadium. "That was as electric an atmosphere as I've seen," Hoeppner said of MU's home opener.

Mike Harris, Miami's athletic media relations director, said a "couple of hundred" Xavier students accepted the offer by Miami student body president Michael Chapman to attend the game for free.

Yager's new artificial turf easily passed its first test, Hoeppner said.

"The field got an 'A,' " he said. "It was well-received by everyone. It still needs to settle in, but it's a great, great playing surface."

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