Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Icky Banks, a 12-game starter for West Virginia at cornerback in 2013, is facing academic issues, according to a source close to the situation.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia senior cornerback Icky Banks is dealing with an academic eligibility issue that could sideline him this season, a source told MetroNews on Monday.

The source, who has knowledge of the situation, spoke on condition of anonymity because the program has not issued a statement regarding Banks’ status.

A 12-game starter last season, Banks was absent from the media’s viewing session at Thursday’s practice, nor did the fifth-year senior participate in Saturday’s scrimmage.

After the scrimmage, defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell deferred all questions about Banks to head coach Dana Holgorsen. Neither coach referenced Banks when asked about the position battle that now appears to be between Terrell Chestnut and Travis Bell.

Banks and safety Karl Joseph were the lone defensive returnees who started every game last season.

Sophomore Daryl Worley, a budding standout at the opposite cornerback, called Banks the team’s most fundamentally sound corner and a calming influence.

“I’m still learning from him,” Worley said two weeks ago. “There’s times when I feel myself getting overwhelmed and angry with myself and he can calm me down.

“In last year’s Texas game, there was a miscommunication where I ended up not getting the call and they scored on my side of the ball. Icky saw me on the sideline and he pulled me aside and told me it wasn’t my fault to go out there and make the next play.”

A native of Richmond, Va., Banks has appeared in 36 games at West Virginia while making 16 starts.

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  • Terry401

    I need to learn to type

  • Terry401

    This article is talking about a young man's life. If his athletic future is at a dead end the what..... The education he should have gotten was his fall back. What skills does he have........... Was no on watching the academic fail of a strting member of the team ---- BIG coaching error

  • Ed

    The NFL should start a minor league system for "non-academic" football players.

  • double dees

    The Eers will be just fine this season. Be optimistic. Go make sweet love to the person you love. It's all goid, babies!! Holgie's got this!

  • peleliu

    Who is responsible for monitoring athletes grades at WVU?

    • Mister Man

      It starts with the athletes.

  • Mister Man

    Anyway, thanks for all you have given the team and the university, Icky. You are, and always will be, a Mountaineer.

  • Mister Man

    His career is over.

  • Docwright

    Way to support the team William. Fair weather fans like yourself are a disgrace to the Mountaineer nation!

  • wvufanatic

    So he would basically redshirt right?

  • Rich

    As a 5th year senior, if he has academic eligibility issues that will sideline him the entire season doesn't that mean his career is over?

  • TruthTeller

    He could always transfer to Alabama were their athletes don't even have to be able to read or write. I know this for a fact. I lived in South Carolina and the company I worked for fired a guy because he could not read or write during his orientation training. He was a football player from Alabama.

    • vanhoopcoach

      NO wvu fan should EVER trash another school...not ever...WVU has some of the lowest standards of enrollment of anyone in the country.

    • Former GA

      Don't be too disparaging there, TruthTeller.

      I used to be a Graduate Assistant at West Virginia University, and I had several football players as students. And I can tell you factually that I had two fifth-year senior football players who were taking a freshman level class, and their literary skills were questionable at best.

      As Easy posted, I suspect this goes on at almost all schools.

      • Bobby

        I too was a Graduate Assistant at WVU. You are right that some of the football players had poor "literary" skills, but they put forth an effort. Also, the Athletic Dept. was attentive to their progress (or lack of) and had tutors available if needed. However, I had a few that were quality students that needed no help. College level education is beyond reading and writing, students are expected to come to college with those skills. Not being able to read or write is a failure of their parents and our public schools.

  • Stephen304

    WVU will surprise some too much talent not to win 7 games and go to the Champs Bowl

    • andrew

      I agree on WVU winning 7 games, but that should put them in the Heart of Dallas bowl vers. 12-1 Marshall.
      Or possibly in the Liberty bowl vers. a 6-6 SEC team.

  • any major dude

    @Tough I agree with you but all Icky can do now is man up, do his best to get the schoolwork done, and earn his way back.

  • Tough

    This college football/scholastic world is tough, especially, if a player has come from a poor student history. I feel for him and bet he left his hardest classes until the end and really wanted to play this year We shouldn't forget these are all kids and they are usually doing their best. He's gonna be awesome next year if this one doesn't work out.

  • Easy

    This happens at every college.