All along, P.J. Fleck had a plan for when Shannon Brooks would make his season debut. The coach kept his intentions under wraps, but on Tuesday he revealed that the senior running back, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament just before spring practice, was targeted to play in Saturday’s game at Nebraska.
That plan, however, is in doubt after the weekend arrest of Brooks, 22, after he allegedly assaulted his male roommate in their Minneapolis residence. Brooks was released from Hennepin County jail on Monday afternoon following his arrest early Sunday morning. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office has not pressed charges against Brooks, though an investigation into misdemeanor domestic assault allegations brought by Newell R. Fisk, 21, is ongoing.
“Shannon is back with our team,” Fleck said, adding that Brooks did not practice Tuesday. “His status is evolving each day.”
Sarah McKenzie, spokeswoman for the city attorney’s office said Tuesday afternoon that the investigation, “likely would take a week or so.”
Because the investigation isn’t complete, Fleck couldn’t get into specifics aside from the police report.
“I wish I had more information for all of you at this particular time,” Fleck said. “I don’t have a lot, but I can say individuals are still collecting a lot of information, and that’s why I’m not able to say a lot of different things.
“I do know this, though: No charges were ever filed. Nobody was injured between Shannon and his male roommate — his male roommate,” the coach added for emphasis.
Any decision on Brooks’ playing status would be made by Fleck and athletic director Mark Coyle, the coach said. Fleck didn’t say there was a specific cutoff date for the decision on Brooks for Saturday’s game but acknowledged, “There comes a time where if a kid doesn’t practice, you’re not going to play him in games.”
Last week Fleck said Brooks would play four games — and four only — this season to preserve a year of eligibility for 2019. He originally was expected to miss the entire season because of the knee injury, but a new NCAA rule that began this season allows players to appear in up to four games without using a year of eligibility. Brooks has amassed 2,533 career all-purpose yards and scored 19 touchdowns for the Gophers.