Leader Blues

Saturday, November 08, 2008

SPORTS>>Knighton loses his appeal, is out at Harding

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

David Knighton, Harding University’s all-time leading passer, has been expelled from school for the fall semester.

Knighton, the 2007 Gulf South Conference Player of the Year and a Harlon Hill Award candidate, was to have capped off his record-setting career at Harding today when the Bisons traveled to Russellville to take on Arkansas Tech.

Knighton was accused of violating the university’s code of conduct policy that forbids a student having a person of the opposite sex in their residence after curfew. Knighton maintains that he was merely helping out a friend who had stayed out too late and was unable to get into her dorm. He said he was awakened in the early morning hours by a phone call from the friend seeking a place to stay for the night.

Knighton said she slept on his couch. The university’s public relation’s department issued the following release regarding the matter:

“David Knighton is no longer enrolled at Harding. Harding has a long-standing policy of not discussing student personnel matters. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations prohibit us from releasing information from students’ records. Included in that information is any disclosure involving student disciplinary records, academic records or health records. It is not in a student’s best interests for Harding to disclose any portion of a student’s records.”

Knighton said he didn’t feel like the university dean doubted his version of events.

“But they said I should have called the dorm or taken other actions,” Knighton said on Friday afternoon. “I’m just ready to move on. That’s the way I feel about the whole thing.”

Knighton, who was five weeks away from a marketing degree, could re-enroll at Harding next semester, though his scholarship would be exempt and he would have to pay for his courses. He plans on hiring an agent to explore a possible career in the National Football League.

Knighton has Harding career records in pass completions (861), passing yards (9,995), passing touchdowns (80), pass completion percentage (60.0), pass efficiency (130.8) and total offense (10,448), among others.

Knighton is going to remain living in Searcy pending the hiring of an agent.

“I’m going to start training, keep my fingers crossed and pray,” he said.