Hokies cut ties with Michael Holmes

Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes has been dismissed from the team and expelled from the university, a school spokesman said Tuesday.

Holmes was kicked out of school after he was found guilty of a reduced misdemeanor charge of assault and battery.

"He is permanently separated from the university," athletic director Jim Weaver said, adding that the decision was made about a month ago.

Initially the school said that a panel of his peers on the university's student judiciary committee -- not the athletic department -- dismissed him; however, later the school said that two panels can decide a student's fate. Holmes could have opted to have his case handled by his peers or by professionals in the student services area. It was not revealed which group handled the case.

Holmes originally was facing a felony malicious wounding charge for his alleged involvement in a fight in April. Because the felony was reduced to a misdemeanor charge, Holmes could have been reinstated by athletic director Jim Weaver, as long as he was cleared by the university. The two panels, however, are of a higher authority than the school's athletic director.

Weaver said he heard from the Office of Student Conduct before he had a chance to make up his mind as to whether or not Holmes should be reinstated.

"My role in this was non-involvement because it never got to us," Weaver said. "The decision was made on campus before it ever came to us, and that might not be the commonplace, but it is certainly, I think, in effect at many schools."

Weaver said he has only seen this happen "once or twice" during his tenure as athletic director, and he did not remember it ever happening with the football program.

Holmes was sentenced to a 12-month suspended jail sentence and placed on one year's probation, and he was also ordered to pay $13,403 in restitution and not to have contact with any victims involved in the case.

Holmes was third on the depth chart coming out of spring practices. J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds were listed as the top two running backs, respectively. Tony Gregory is now the third-string running back.

Quarterback Logan Thomas led the Hokies in rushing yards last year, with Coleman second with 492 yards and two touchdowns. Gregory had 299 yards and one touchdown, while Holmes had 280 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 4 yards per carry.