University of Montana quarterback Gerald Kemp was dismissed from the Grizzly football team on Friday, leaving the team short of experienced signal callers as the start of fall drills nears.
Interim athletic director Jean Gee said it was head coach Mick Delaney’s decision to cut ties with Kemp, who also played running back and receiver for the Griz in his career.
“Coach (Delaney) let him go for a violation of team rules,” said Gee, who took over the UM athletic department when former AD Jim O’Day and head coach Robin Pflugrad were fired on March 29. “As far as we know, he’s going to stay in school and finish out his degree.”
Kemp and former Griz cornerback Trumaine Johnson were involved in an altercation with Missoula police last fall, when the two were tased during a post-game house party at their residence.
Kemp and Johnson pleaded no contest in Missoula Municipal Court to charges of disorderly conduct.
However, Gee said Friday’s move was not related to the incident last October.
“No, not at all,” she said. “And just to protect Gerald I don’t want to say what it’s about. Just that it’s team rules.”
“It was not criminal related,” Gee added, “and it was not school related. I had that asked of me, too. It was purely a team violation.”
The university did not formally announce Kemp’s dismissal. Instead, the UM sports information department released an updated team roster on Friday morning and Kemp was not listed.
A San Diego native, Kemp was set to begin his senior season at UM. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder passed for 218 yards and ran for 223 yards a year ago, while scoring four touchdowns.
Kemp’s dismissal leaves four quarterbacks on the Grizzlies’ roster, including incumbent starter, junior Jordan Johnson.
Johnson’s status with the team also has been questionable in recent months, but his name remains on the Grizzly roster.
A woman accused Johnson in March of sexually assaulting her in February. Missoula police investigated the allegations and forwarded a report to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office. No decision has been made on whether to file charges against Johnson. Johnson and the woman now have a civil no-contact agreement.
The others QBs are sophomore Shay Smithwick-Hann of Kalispell, redshirt freshman Trent McKinney and true freshman Brady Gustafson.
Not long after spring ball, the Grizzly coaching staff announced that backup quarterback Nate Montana was transferring to West Virginia Wesleyan.
“I think they are looking for another quarterback,” Gee said Friday, “perhaps another freshman, but they haven’t brought one in yet.”
Messages left on both Delaney and Kemp’s cell phones were not immediately returned.