The Kent State football program isn’t usually in the national consciousness and, this time, they are for a sub-optimal reason. On Sunday night, KSU announced that head coach Paul Haynes will be taking a leave of absence from his position for medical reasons and, as part of the release, it was revealed that he is expected to miss the next “two to three weeks” as a result.
While specifics of his ailment were not publicly available, Haynes will be sidelined for the opener against the Clemson Tigers on Sept. 2 and, from a national perspective, that is one of the major headlines here. Kent State’s second game will be against Howard on Sept. 9 and, if Haynes is not back, the program takes on Marshall on Sept. 16 in a true road game.
The absence of Haynes against Clemson leaves Kent State shorthanded in a match-up that was already (quite) unfavorable on paper. The Tigers are, of course, the defending national champions and, even without Deshaun Watson returning, Dabo Swinney’s team is considered a massive favorite in the season opener.
Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will be taking the reins from Haynes while he is unavailable and you may remember Treadwell from his time as the head coach at Miami of Ohio earlier this decade.
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Paul Haynes in his absence and recovery.