Withers Looks Back At Drama With QB Change

HARRISONBURG, VA. (WHSV) -- The offseason for James Madison football saw plenty of changes, not just at the head coaching position, but also at starting quarterback. And the transition in that spot wasn't exactly pretty.

The spring game made it clear that incoming Georgia tech transfer Vad Lee had the upper hand over last season's starter, Michael Birdsong, who decided to leave Harrisonburg shortly after the two players went head-to-head.

Birdsong decided to transfer to Marshall University, but not before there was some friction with new head coach Everett Withers regarding where Birdsong could transfer.

Withers had limited the quarterback's options, banning him from transferring to Old Dominion, Charlotte, Liberty and Appalachian State.

A panel of faculty heard an appeal by Birdsong to reverse the ban and ruled in favor of the Richmond-native, allowing him to consider all schools except Charlotte, which is on JMU's 2014 schedule.

Birdsong will sit out this upcoming season with the Thundering Herd and Withers says he has no regrets with how the former JMU starter left.

"I expect those things to happen. As we move forward, I expect us to have more consistency, and continuity on our football team. When you're a head football coach, you expect situations to come up. And to be honest with you, Michael made a decision for him,” Withers said.

“I think it was a decision that he made seeing that he may not be the starting quarterback. And that's fine. We're in a transition We're in a position right now where we were making some changes from a lot of areas. And we expect that as a program and I expect that as a head coach."

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