Western Michigan LB Robert Spillane returning to team

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/238721/" data-ylk="slk:Robert Spillane">Robert Spillane</a> (10) had an interception in WMU’s MAC title game win. (Getty)
Robert Spillane (10) had an interception in WMU’s MAC title game win. (Getty)

Western Michigan linebacker Robert Spillane isn’t leaving after all.

Spillane said on Wednesday afternoon that he had decided to return to the school. The team’s leading tackler got his release from WMU in February and had intended to transfer.

Not long after Spillane said he would be transferring from WMU, Minnesota said it would self-report an NCAA violation regarding improper contact between coach P.J. Fleck and a former player of his at Western Michigan. Fleck was hired at Minnesota after the 2016 season.

Spillane said on Twitter at the time of his transfer announcement that Fleck had nothing to do with his decision to leave. The linebacker had 111 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2016.

New Western Michigan coach Tim Lester said on Wednesday he had been in contact with Spillane after his release.

“We’ve been texting throughout the whole process of when he was away,” Lester said via MLive.com. “I was hoping he was doing alright. He came in and I met with him and he told me he wanted to come back and join the guys and that he felt terrible about his time away.”

Had Spillane transferred to an FBS school, he would have had to sit out the 2017 season. Now that he’s staying at WMU he’ll be playing this season as a senior.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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