I've never denied anyone a release ... I think that's the best way to do it. —BYU coach Kalani Sitake
PROVO — BYU linebacker Francis Bernard's status with the BYU football program became clearer Monday, with Cougar coach Kalani Sitake offering some specifics in the wake of the junior linebacker being arrested over the weekend on an alcohol-related offense.
It was announced that Bernard would redshirt the year just a few weeks prior to the 2017 season due to "personal reasons." Early last Saturday morning the Herriman High product was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving without a valid license and for investigation of failing to register his vehicle or having an expired registration, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office.
When asked of Bernard's status during Monday's press conference, Sitake said the 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker had withdrawn from school and "was looking at all of his options, and one of them was possibly returning here with a release in hand. I wish him the best in finding what is the best place for him and I care about him."
Sitake stated Bernard asked for a release from the program, "a couple of weeks back," and that he was granted one upon request.
"I've never denied anyone a release ... I think that's the best way to do it," Sitake said.
HIFO ALSO NOT WITH TEAM: Former BYU safety Marvin Hifo was cited with an alcohol-related offense (open container), along with Bernard last Saturday, and is currently not with the program, according to Sitake.
"When he got hurt he notified us that he was leaving the team a couple of weeks ago," Sitake said. "After his injury he decided not to be part of the team, and not be a part of our program, and not go to school."
Hifo last played during BYU's 24-7 loss to Boise State. The Mount San Jacinto College transfer had 18 tackles on the season and was a regular within the safety rotation before sustaining his injury.
WITHOUT WARNER: The injuries kept coming during BYU's 33-17 loss to East Carolina, with the latest big injury befalling cornerback Troy Warner. The sophomore left last Saturday's game with an apparent leg injury and isn't expected back this season.
"It's sad, the fact that my brother went down," said Troy Warner's older brother and senior linebacker Fred Warner. "I don't know what's going to happen with him for the rest of the season, but if he can't play anymore, I don't get to play with him for the rest of the season."
Sitake confirmed that it's unlikely Troy Warner will play again this year.