Sophomore cornerback Boubacar Cissoko was dismissed from the Michigan football team yesterday afternoon for a violation of team rules, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said through Athletic Department spokesman Dave Ablauf.


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Cissoko was due to appear in Detroit’s 36th district court yesterday for disorderly conduct charges stemming from a traffic arrest over the summer. However, the case was dismissed because no Detroit Police Department officer appeared before the court. If he had been found guilty, Cissoko could have faced up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

Currently it is unknown whether the case played a role in Cissoko’s dismissal from the team.

An report from late July described a June 6 incident in which Cissoko was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over in Belle Isle for speeding. When the police officer asked the driver to get out of the car, Cissoko was quoted as saying “Leave my boy the (expletive) alone,” according to the story. He was then arrested after the officer ordered him to stop, the report said.

Thomas Wilcher, Cissoko’s former coach at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, said the Michigan coaching staff told him the cause of the dismissal was “just a combination of missing study tables, missing class and missing workouts.”

“I never saw it coming,” Wilcher said, adding that Cissoko never caused trouble in high school. “Whatever he was asked to do, he did it.”

Wilcher did not know exactly when these issues began, but said “it’s like the second time it happened, I know.”

The coach spoke with Cissoko and a Michigan assistant coach yesterday evening about the dismissal.

“He accepts reality, that’s all,” Wilcher said. “He was calm. He wasn’t upset because he knows he messed up.”

Cissoko was suspended by Rodriguez for the Oct. 10 game versus Iowa and the Oct. 17 game versus Delaware State after starting the first four games of the season. He also did not play on Oct. 3 against Michigan State. Rodriguez first attributed the suspension to “a violation of team rules.”

“When he comes back, it’s really up to him,” Rodriguez said after the Iowa game. “He’s got certain things he’s got to do, on and off the field, academically and all that, and if he does that, he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

Wilcher said Cissoko struggled in his classes freshman year, but did “whatever it took to make sure he got his grades.”

During his suspension, Cissoko was relegated to the scout team in practice. But he returned to the field last weekend against Penn State, playing in third-down man-coverage situations.

After Saturday’s game, Rodriguez said Cissoko would stay in the lineup “unless he screws up again.”

Cissoko practiced Monday, the team’s first practice since the Penn State game, according to a source close to the team. The same source said Cissoko would frequently “show up a few minutes late” to practice during the season.

But that was his last day practicing for Michigan, where he will leave after a 20-game career in Ann Arbor. Cissoko, who was considered the top prospect in Michigan by and, tallied one interception and 30 tackles, including one for a loss, while wearing the maize and blue.

It’s unclear what the future holds for Cissoko.

“Well, it depends on how he comes out with this right here,” Wilcher said, adding that the decision hinges on Cissoko’s grades. “I think he’ll probably go someplace else and play.”

But one of Cissoko’s high school teammates, Edward Eniang, who played cornerback with him, said he thinks Cissoko will stick it out at Michigan.

“Since tenth (grade), all he’s talked about was Michigan,” Eniang said. “I expect him to stay, try and get his grades up, and do anything he can to get back on the team.”

His dismissal was particularly shocking to Eniang.

“I was definitely surprised when I heard the news,” Eniang said. “Everyone in high school, they have a few classes they struggle with. But Boubacar loved football, and he always put in the extra work to make sure his grades were up and he could stay on the field.”

Former high school teammate Delshawn Morris agreed.

“(It was) very surprising,” Morris said. “I never will find a reason why he’d be kicked off. He’s a good person.”

“The last couple weeks, he’s been working, so we thought it was time for him to play again,” secondary coach Tony Gibson said after the game.

Junior cornerback Donovan Warren said Saturday that Cissoko had regained the trust of his coaches.

“Boubacar just came back with a vengeance,” Warren said. “You know he worked hard in practice this week. Got the coaches to trust him real well. This was just a matter of them having confidence in him, and they got confidence in him.”

That confidence was broken Tuesday.

“He almost turned it around, though,” Wilcher said.

—Daily Sports Editors Courtney Ratkowiak and Andy Reid contributed to this report.

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