It's a mess at Indiana State and it's not likely to get better with No. 1-ranked North Dakota State traveling to Terre Haute on Saturday.
As reported by Todd Golden of the Tribune-Star newspaper in Terre Haute, star running back Shakir Bell is no longer with the team. The reason exactly why remains a mystery.
Bell put three messages on Twitter this afternoon that said he was dismissed from the Sycamores. As per Golden, one of them read: "My dismissal from the team comes with no hard feelings & I realize this will have a negative outlook on me but if anyone has questions hml [hit my line]."
But later in the day, Indiana State coach Mike Sanford said Bell is no longer on the team because of an injury.
Shakir Bell (Photo courtesy: Missouri Valley Football Conference.)
Sanford told the Tribune-Star: "Here's all I'm going to say. Shakir had an injury to his foot earlier in the year. He re-injured it Saturday and is unavailable for the rest of the season."
Sanford's comments during the weekly Missouri Valley Conference football coaches teleconference Tuesday morning foreshadowed the afternoon drama.
Sanford told the media that the Sycamores had some in-house issues that were being handled by the team.
Bell was not having a good season, but his absence will make things even tougher for the Sycamores as they face NDSU. Indiana State is 0-3 in the league and 1-6 overall. They were beaten by Illinois State 55-14 last week.
Bell rushed for 4,214 career yards at Indiana State, second-best in program history.
He rushed for 111 yards in last year's 17-14 Indiana State upset over the Bison. That was the last time NDSU lost.
(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)