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Former West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey is returning to school and will serve as a graduate assistant in 2016.
Bailey, most recently a member of the Los Angeles Rams, was shot in the head twice in November 2015 in Miami in a drive-by shooting. He thankfully was able to be home for Christmas and was even running routes in April.
However, the Rams released him this spring. Bailey said in a statement through the school that he didn’t consider his playing career to be over.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Los Angeles Rams organization, my teammates, coach Jeff Fisher, general manager Les Snead and the ownership for the way they have taken care of me and my family since they drafted me,” Bailey said in the statement. “They’re a first-class organization and made me feel like part of the family, especially during the past few months, which have been a tough time.
“Moving forward, I would like to thank West Virginia University, especially coach Dana Holgorsen and athletic director Shane Lyons for making this opportunity available. Even though my playing career isn’t over yet, this gives me more time to heal so I can make a return. However, It is important to me to finish my degree. I loved my time as a Mountaineer football player and I look forward to working with coach Holgorsen and the Mountaineer football program.”
Bailey was a member of the Mountaineer football team from 2010-2012. He had 210 career catches for 3.218 yards and 41 touchdowns and was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. Through his time in the NFL (so far), Bailey has 59 catches for 843 yards and two touchdowns.
“I know Stedman is very disappointed that he isn’t able to play football at this time. However, I am glad that he is going to turn an unfortunate situation into a positive one by coming back to WVU as a student assistant coach and more importantly finishing his degree,” Holgorsen said. “He was an important part of our football program as a player, and I look forward to him being with us once again. Like we say here – once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.”
The WVU release said Bailey would be a full-time student and work towards his degree in multidisciplinary studies.
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