Sophomore safety Kerry Martin Jr. has announced via his Twitter that he has decided to opt out of the 2020 season.
Mountaineer forever 💙 pic.twitter.com/bTVNy6b3lz
— Kerry “KJ” Martin Jr.🌹 (@KMartinJr11) August 5, 2020
In his statement posted to Twitter, Martin cites his family’s and own health issues, including “sickle cell, asthma”.
Martin said he does not feel it is safe to play under the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, without a cure or full knowledge of the virus’s long-term effects. Martin also said that he does not believe he would be able to improve upon his freshman season in his current condition.
“I am also deciding to sit out because we don’t feel that my body matches my mental state to play the game and I don’t think I could withstand the role I would be playing this upcoming season due to my current condition as a football player,” Martin wrote. “I don’t want to get into the season and not perform better than my last season and not be able to give my 100% all.”
Martin played in 12 games as a true freshman, recording 50 tackles and five pass breakups. He will be eligible to redshirt for 2020, meaning he could return for 2021 as a redshirt-sophomore with three seasons of eligibility remaining. WVU added safety Scottie Young Jr. this offseason as a graduate transfer from Arizona. Young played free safety with the Wildcats, the same position Martin played for WVU in 2019.
The Mountaineer football team has already had a brush with COVID-19 this summer. At one point last month there was a 19-case increase over the span of nine days, however, in the university’s latest release on July 25 it was announced that there was only one “active” case on the football team.
Martin has also made headlines this offseason when he made accusations of mistreatment and racism against former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning in June. Koenning was placed on administrative leave and eventually agreed to mutually separate from the university.
Watch Mike Asti discuss the Martin-Koenning situation with former WVU assistant athletic director and current co-host of the West Virginia MetroNews SportsLine Brad Howe on Pittsburgh Sports Live.