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BOWLING GREEN - An injury and a dismissal have made a thin position even thinner for the Bowling Green State University football team.
The cornerback position will have two new starters this Saturday as Falcons coach Dave Clawson announced Wednesday that senior Robert Lorenzi was dismissed from the team, and that freshman Cameron Truss would miss the game because of injury.
Clawson did not discuss the reasons for Lorenzi's dismissal, but the native of Concord, Calif., was arrested by Bowling Green police at 2:31 a.m. Sunday and charged with with assault.
According to a police report, Lorenzi, 5-foot-9, 173 pounds, threw a punch that knocked out another male in a bar parking lot.
Lorenzi pleaded no contest to the charge during his appearance Monday at BG Municipal Court. He was fined $200 plus $125 in court fees.
Lorenzi had started all seven games for the Falcons this season at cornerback and had 17 tackles. He was tied for the team lead with seven passes broken up and also had a pair of interceptions, one of which he returned 82 yards for a touchdown against Buffalo.
"These are always hard decisions, but I felt he should no longer have the privilege of representing Bowling Green on the football field," Clawson said. "In this case, there was a pattern of behavior I wasn't comfortable with, and as a result he will no longer represent Bowling Green on the field."
Lorenzi pleaded no contest in August, 2008, to misusing a credit card that was reported stolen. He was found guilty, paid $185 in fines and court fees, and was placed on two years probation, which ended last month.
Meanwhile Truss, who has started the last five games at cornerback, injured an ankle in the Falcons' loss at Temple last Saturday.
"I don't expect we'll have Cam this week, but our hope is that he won't be out that long," Clawson said.
Junior Adrien Spencer, who started the first two games at cornerback, will be joined by Aunre Davis, a redshirt freshman who was listed as the backup to Truss, as the starters Saturday when the Falcons host Kent State at Perry Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Clawson admitted that losing Lorenzi at a point where Truss also is injured is a "brutal" break that can't be avoided.
"You can't have discipline and only apply it when it's convenient," he said.
Senior captain Eugene "Champ" Fells was sad to hear about the dismissal of Lorenzi.
"You hate to see that happen," Fells said. "You understand [the decision], but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with it - or any easier to make that decision in the first place."
KICKING CONTEST: Clawson said there will be an open competition for the field-goal and PAT job between freshman Kyle Burkhardt, a Central Catholic grad, and sophomore Stephen Stein.
Bryan Wright, who had handled those responsibilities as well as the punting and kickoff duties in BG's first seven games, will do only the punting and kickoffs Saturday.
"[Burkhardt and Stein] were clearly [No. 2 and No. 3] coming out of training camp," Clawson said. "We met with them Sunday and told them they would compete for the job.
"We gave them the same opportunities [Tuesday], and they were both 4-of-5."
Clawson wasn't sure when he would decide which kicker would start against the Golden Flashes, but he was sure that Wright was the right person to continue on punts and kickoffs.
"Bryan Wright has done a great job with our punting, and he's done a great job with kickoffs," Clawson said. "But we've struggled with field goals, and I think his burden is a little too much.
"I think doing all three has taken a toll on him. He's doing [the punting and kickoffs] so well we want to take that extra burden off him."
MORE INJURY NEWS: The status of several other injured Falcons is uncertain at this point.
Senior RB Willie Geter, who was injured while scoring a TD against Temple, practiced for the first time Wednesday. His status for Saturday's game remains questionable.
Senior WR Tyrone Pronty, who missed Saturday's game against the Owls, was on the practice field Tuesday. But junior WR Eugene Cooper, who also was hurt at Temple, is doubtful.
The good news is that junior Scott Lewis, a Northview grad who has not played since he was injured during fall drills, may see more action this weekend.
"He'll probably be more available because he has a second week of practice under his belt," Clawson said of Lewis.
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