Ball State player notes for Mar 17th, 2019

The Sports Xchange

March 17, 2019 at 3:10 am.

Riley Neal – Noteworthy
When spring practice begins Thursday at Ball State, it will be the start of a new era. Riley Neal and James Gilbert, arguably the Cardinals’ two best players, both opted to play their final seasons of eligibility elsewhere, with Neal transferring to Vanderbilt and Gilbert leaving for Kansas State. They were Ball State’s two representatives at MAC Media Days before last season. Ball State head coach Mike Neu talked publicly about the two players for the first time in a recent conversation with the Star Press. Neu referenced Neal’s father dealing with a legal issue during last season as the reason for Neal leaving. “You read like I did. I don’t want to comment on it, but I knew Riley had a personal situation,” Neu said.

“You read what I read, and I respect him. I know it was a decision that he felt like he had to make. I wish him the best because he’s worked hard and graduated from here. I know he’s been through some injuries here, but I wish him nothing but the best.” When asked if his relationship with Neal was still good, Neu said it was. Neal put out a statement after he transferred saying that it was a personal situation and had nothing to do with Neu or offensive coordinator Joey Lynch. “Without getting into it, it was his family situation that was weighing on him,” Neu said. “My relationship with Riley was very good. Joey’s relationship with Riley was very good. I’m sure he’s frustrated. You never want to get hurt. But you read what I read. And he called to talk about that before that happened, so I felt very good about my relationship with him. I want to see him do well. Hopefully for him he can stay healthy.” – Star Press