Oregon State wide receiver Sammie Stroughter, who led the Pac-10 last season with more than 1,200 receiving yards and five touchdowns, will take an indefinite leave of absence with personal issues.
Stroughter, a senior, has a redshirt available, so he could return later this season. next season or enter the NFL draft. He also returned three punts for touchdowns as the Beavers went 10-4 last season.
Stroughter, who caught 79 passes for 1,293 yards last season,
has been missing for most of fall camp as the Beavers prepare for
their opener at home against Utah on Aug. 30, and there had been no word
from the school on why he wasn't working out with the team.
But Stroughter explained the situation in a statement that was released
by the university.
"During the past year my family and I have experienced a
considerable amount of grief and mourning due to the passing of two
family members who were important male role models in my life. In
addition to these losses, Coach Jim Gilstrap, who recruited me to
OSU, passed away this summer," the statement read.
"These losses have taken my entire family by storm and the
grief from these incidents has affected each one of us differently.
It has been the decision of my immediate family and I that I take
whatever time needed to get over what I am personally experiencing
due to the sudden changes in my life," he said.
Stroughter did not offer a timetable for his return to the team.
The senior could sit out this season as a redshirt and play for the
Beavers in 2008.
He had not attended practice since Aug. 8.
Oregon State "supports Sammie's
decision completely," coach Mike Riley said in the statement. "Sammie will always have an open door with this
football program. ... He is a terrific young man and
our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."
Television reporter Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN. The Associated Press contributed to this report.