In simpler times, USF's 2018 quarterback derby shaped up as a two-player dead heat. The prevailing buzz word surrounding the competition was intriguing.
Today, it's downright confusing.
The arrival in May of former Alabama/Arizona State QB Blake Barnett added a new layer. Now, the reports of veteran Brett Kean's eligibility, only three weeks before the Bulls start preseason camp on Aug. 3, have added a monkey wrench.
A report surfaced late Tuesday that Kean — a redshirt junior — would miss the first four games of the 2018 season for academic reasons. Hours later, the report was reinforced/clarified to indicate that while Kean is suspended four games, it's likely he'll only miss the first two.
(Student academic records are shielded from public access by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment.)
Upon the initial story's release, the Tampa Bay Times learned that while Kean faced a four-game suspension for 2018 at one point last fall, he performed well enough academically in the spring to have it reduced to two games.
He has since filed a medical hardship "with extenuating circumstances" in an effort to reduce the suspension from two games to none. Details of the hardship appeal weren't made clear, and there's no guarantee the suspension will be further reduced, though Kean is optimistic.
But sources close to Kean remain adamant the four-game suspension no longer is in play.
Our guess is, this situation resolves itself somewhere in the middle. That's typically how such stories — concealed by student-privacy laws and the siege mentality of some college football programs — play out. When the haze clears, Kean likely won't miss four games, but he also likely won't emerge unscathed.
And we can return our sights to the QB derby on the field.
Which could be confusing enough.