Chattanooga Mocs starting quarterback Cole Copeland will not be available for the 2018 football season. Multiple trusted sources tell WRCB Sports Director Paul Shahen that Copeland has been ruled academically ineligible.

UTC Head Coach Tom Arth confirmed through the Mocs Athletic Department that Copeland has been "suspended for the season, will remain on the team and will remain at practice."

It’s the second time in as many seasons the Mocs will lose a starting quarterback for academic issues. Alejandro Bennifield was suspended for the first four games of 2017 because of an NCAA academic issue.

Copeland, the Bradley Central grad entered his freshman season as the third-string quarterback but after injuries to both Alejandro Bennifield and Nick Tiano, Copeland took the reins and was eventually named to the 2017 SoCon All-Freshman team.

He played in 6 games, completed 130 of 207 passes for 1,177 yards, 7 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.

Quarterback Nick Tiano, the Baylor grad and Mississippi State transfer started four games during Bennifield’s suspension is entering his junior season.

The Mocs also added a highly touted transfer Chris James from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. James is a Gilmer HS (GA) 2015 graduate who initially signed with Valdosta State out of high school. As a senior at Gilmer High School James threw for 1,300 yards, rushed for 500 yards and combined for 24 touchdowns.