Idaho State All-American kick returner and tailback Tavoy Moore was dismissed from the football team after an incident during practice Thursday morning.
ISU Athletic Director Jeff Tingey confirmed he made the decision after head coach Mike Kramer recommended Moore be removed from the squad.
“For the most part it was for conduct detrimental to the team,” Tingey said. “It was a team decision and I support that.” He added the dismissal was the result of a “combination of events.”
Moore disputes that, saying it was a single incident that escalated during Thursday’s practice.
“It just happened so fast,” Moore said. “He (Kramer) was saying that if anybody dropped a pass or did something wrong, they would have to get off the field. On a kick off return, I dropped the ball. I went off the field, but then he told me to get in the locker room.”
According to Moore, after practice ended other players began telling him he was going to be suspended one game for dropping the ball. That’s when the incident escalated.
“I was saying that I can’t play for someone like him,” Moore said about Kramer. “The way he throws his players under the bus—you’ve seen it in the media. He’s supposed to keep things like that confidential. I can’t play for someone like that.”
After Saturday’s 33-0 loss to Montana at home, Kramer was critical of Moore. “We have guys lined up wrong and our debonair tailback, who's supposed to be a really good player, frizzled and melted himself off the field today,” Kramer said.
“He speaks down on his players when they play bad,” Moore said. “That’s supposed to be confidential. Nobody is perfect.”
Moore said when he told an assistant coach after practice Thursday that he didn’t want “to play for someone like that” the assistant told him to talk to Kramer. Moore said he then talked to the head coach, who told him he was being dismissed from the team.
“What I did wasn’t conduct detrimental to the team," Moore said. "It was supposed to be something between me and the coach.”
For Moore, it was a buildup of frustration that led to his desire to not play for the Bengals.
“All season I have been being put under the bus,” Moore said. “Everyone has when they do something wrong. I was being made into a one-dimensional player. The offense is great, but I don’t feel like I was being utilized. Everyone knows what I did the year before and I wasn’t being used effectively.”
Moore added that the terminology used to describe his dismissal is inaccurate.
“Conduct detrimental to the team. I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “Conduct detrimental to the team is such a broad term. People think it could be anything, like drugs, but it wasn’t.”
Kramer could not be reached for comment on Thursday. A press release from ISU's sports information department said that “Tavoy Moore has been dismissed from the football team for conduct unbecoming of a member of the Idaho State football program. Coach Mike Kramer will have no further comment on the issue.”
Because he is still on scholarship for the rest of the year, Moore plans on staying in school and finishing his degree.
ISU seniors J.T. Albers, a linebacker, and Kelvin Miller, a defensive back, are in full support of their coach and his decision.
“I think the whole team is backing up Kramer,” Miller said. “Right now we’re not sure what’s going on with Tavoy, but we’re in support of what the coaching staff does. They have the team’s best interest in mind.”
“There’s full support for Coach Kramer,” Albers said. “There’s really no reason to doubt what the coaching staff or Coach Kramer are doing.”
The dismissal of Moore leaves the Bengals short-handed at running back. The team plans to use freshman Aaron Prier and sophomore Jarrod Daniels in the backfield at Weber State on Saturday, where ISU will face its former head coach John Zamberlin.
Zamberlin is currently an assistant coach for the Wildcats after being fired by ISU last season.