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July 11, 2013

Pancho, Khalid Thomas dismissed from football team

Sophomore linebacker Pancho Thomas and freshman running back Khalid Thomas have been dismissed from the UK football team for an unspecified violation of team rules, UK confirmed on Thursday.

UK spokesman Tony Neely said the school would have no further comment on the matter.

Pancho Thomas won the backup middle linebacker job as a true freshman in 2012. He played in ten games while playing special teams and serving as an understudy to Avery Williamson, finishing with 12 total tackles on the season.

Khalid Thomas, Pancho's younger brother, arrived at UK earlier this summer after signing with the Wildcats in February. He committed to UK under former head coach Joker Phillips last summer and stayed with the class after Mark Stoops arrived at the end of the season. He was listed at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds and ranked as the No. 35 athlete in the country in the class of 2013. He likely projected as a running back for the Wildcats.

Pancho Thomas finished spring practice working with the second team at linebacker and would have provided much-needed depth there this season. The Wildcats didn't sign a linebacker in the 2013 class and with Thomas' departure have only eight scholarship linebackers returning this fall (not including linebacker/defensive end TraVaughn Paschal).

The Thomas brothers are the latest among several players to leave the program since the end of spring practice. Redshirt freshman running back Justin Taylor left in early May without ever playing a down for the Wildcats. Five more players left the team in early June for a variety of reasons. Offensive lineman T.J. Jones was dismissed from the team later in June.

Two other players left the team before spring practice, but after Stoops arrived. Cornerbacks Jonathan Reed and Marcus Caffey were dismissed in January.

A message left for their high school head coach, Ronnie Cottrell of Godby High School, was not immediately returned on Thursday morning.

Lowery remains on team
Junior safety Ashely Lowery is still on the team. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Wednesday that Lowery was cited for DUI in connection with the car crash in May that left him hospitalized for several days.

Through a spokesman, Stoops said he would let the legal process take its course and address the matter at an appropriate time.

Lowery started eight games before injuries ended his season. He was fifth on the team with 43 tackles in 2012.


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