After it was reported earlier Friday that four-star New Jersey defensive end Dorian Hardy is no longer committed to Penn State, sources “close to the Nittany Lions program” told NJ.com that the school rescinded the scholarship offer.
This came after more details emerged that during the post-practice fight at Paramus Catholic High School between four players and an assistant coach last Friday, one player eventually was forced to go to the hospital, diagnosed with a concussion after suffering a seizure Wednesday.
Hardy’s father tells the story that his son intervened in a fight between two players that started when one of the players, 14-year-old freshman Miles Mitchell, hit senior Central Michigan commit Jonathan Clark with a swing of his helmet. Hardy’s father said that his son was punched twice by assistant coach Michael Mitchell, father of Miles, during the brawl.
Michael Mitchell tells a different story — saying that Hardy and Clark started the fight. A parent of the fourth player involved in the fight, freshman Joshua Hernandez, indicated that the altercation began when Hardy instructed her son to do pull down his jersey, and then Hardy became the aggressor with Clark when he didn’t do the request fast enough.
The elder Mitchell said that his son stepped in to help Hernandez and struck Clark in the back with his helmet after the two seniors attempted to choke and shove Hernandez, hitting his head into the wall. Once the younger Mitchell intervened, former Penn State commit Hardy landed at least two punches on him.
“They tried to kill my son,” Michael Mitchell told NJ.com. “I just hope he makes it through this and isn’t hurt for the rest of his life.”
Michael Michell was involved in the fight, but said he did not punch Hardy, which was backed up by the police report. He was fired from his coaching job after the brawl.
Hardy’s parents are standing by the story that Hardy was not the aggressor and was protecting teammate Clark, with Hardy’s mother telling NJ.com “I don’t understand why my son gets suspended, his scholarship may be in jeopardy, when another kid [Miles Mitchell] used a weapon and hit somebody upside the head.”
Police reports indicate that two unnamed players were in a fight that two other players and assistant coach Mitchell intervened in. It also stated a 14-year-old player, presumably the younger Mitchell, had “visible swelling to his face.”
Neither Hardy nor Clark are enrolled at Paramus Catholic anymore.
This would not be the first time Penn State rescinded a scholarship offer following a scandal. The Nittany Lions dropped three-star running back/defensive back Myles Hartsfield from its Class of 2015 following the Sayreville (NJ) High School hazing case that saw seven members of the team get arrested, although the names were never released and it’s unclear what Hartsfield’s involvement was.