Starting safety and defensive captain Tony Dye will miss the rest of the season, according to a report from ESPN-Los Angeles writer Peter Yoon. Coach Rick Neuheisel announced the decision after practice today.
Dye injured his neck in the San Jose St game, then played hurt against Texas, and hasn't been back on the field since. The decision to sit the rest of the season was made recently with Dye and his family involved in the process.
"Tony and his family will continue to look for maybe another way, but I just don’t think it’s the prudent thing to do," Neuheisel said. "I think Tony need to get himself 100 percent healthy and hopefully come back and play for us next year."
The number one issue of course is Dye getting healthy. What was initially diagnosed as a stinger has persisted much longer than expected. Neck injuries are serious matters, and it is best for Dye to recover completely before even thinking of getting back into action. Meanwhile, his loss is yet another blow to an already reeling defense that will have to make do without one of its senior leaders. Dye led the defense with 10 tackles against Houston before being slowed by the injury in week 2 against SJSU. RS Soph Alex Mascarenas has been starting at safety since Dye's injury prevented him from playing against Oregon State.
The one bright spot for Dye in this is that by playing in only the first three games this season, he is eligible to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt, and could return next year for a fifth season. Per Jon Gold, Neuheisel expects that such a request would be approved.
When asked to clarify a diagnosis, Neuheisel was non-committal, but he says he expects Dye to be able to request - and be granted - a medical redshirt.
Get well soon, Tony. It's already been a rough year, so take the time you need to get healed, and we hope to see you back in Blue and Gold for a fresh start next season. Your Bruin fans appreciate everything you have done for this team.