Former Liberty County High School football player Shadrach Thornton has been suspended for North Carolina State’s season opener Aug. 31 against Louisiana Tech in Raleigh due to off-field issues.
As previously reported in the Courier, Thornton was arrested June 6 for allegedly pushing a woman, identified as his girlfriend in the incident report, against a wall during an argument.
Immediately after the alleged incident, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren suspended Thornton from the team, but the incoming sophomore, the Pack’s leading rusher last season, earned his way back on to the team.
According to follow-up reports in the Charlotte Observer and USA Today, however, the decision to suspend Thornton for the first game of the season was made a while ago.
“I think he’s learned a lot and he’ll grow a lot from it,” Doeren told the Charlotte Observer. “That’s part of our job as coaches is to discipline guys and to help them through mistakes. The bottom line is he knows he made a mistake putting himself in that situation. We removed him from all team activities except for academics, and he had to live his life the way that he should live it, in my opinion, and our team’s opinion before he could come back and exercise with the guys.”
Thornton has a court date Aug. 22 in Wake County in North Carolina. He has been charged with assault on a female, a misdemeanor.
The first game Thornton could play in this season would be against Richmond on Sept. 7 in Raleigh.
Thornton signed with N.C. State in 2012 after a stellar career at LCHS, where he ran for 4,345 career yards.
Last season, as a true freshman for the Wolfpack, Thornton ran for 694 yards and ranked fourth in Athletic Coast Conference in that category.
He also had 274 yards receiving on the way to an average of 98.7 all-purpose yards per game.