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Progar's status for bowl game TBD after DUI charge

DeKALB – When asked Tuesday about junior defensive end Sean Progar’s availability for the Bowl following a charge of driving under the influence on Dec. 4, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren said he has yet to make a decision.

Progar was charged with driving under the influence less than 48 hours after Northern Illinois won the Mid-American Conference Championship game this month. NIU will finish its season with the bowl against Arkansas State on Jan. 8 in Mobile, Ala.

“We’ve known about it for three weeks, and we’re dealing with the situation internally and collecting all the data that we can collect,” Doeren said after Tuesday afternoon’s practice at Huskie Stadium. “As soon as we have everything, we’ll sit down and talk about it and make a decision. But, obviously, you never want distractions off the field, and I know he is as disappointed as anybody because his track record here has been spectacular.”

Progar was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

According to court documents, an NIU Police officer saw Progar committing improper lane use about 3:15 a.m. Dec. 4 while in the 800 block of North Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. Once stopped, the officer noticed Progar’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy and his breath smelled of alcohol. He also failed field sobriety tests, according to court documents.

Progar, 21, was charged with driving under the influence, having an expired license and improper lane use. Although he usually goes by the last name of Progar, he is listed in court documents as Sean W. Progar-Jackson, of the 4100 block of Cove Lane in Glenview.

Progar, a second-team all-MAC member as a junior, had a team-high 5.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. He led all defensive linemen with 52 tackles and has started all 13 games this season.

The arrest came less than two days after NIU beat Ohio for the MAC championship, which was played Dec. 2 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Doeren said he would like to make a decision on Progar’s availability for the Bowl game as soon as he can, but he would not rush the process.

Court documents note Progar’s driving privileges will be suspended for one year because he failed or refused to submit to complete DUI testing. He is scheduled to appear Dec. 30 at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore.

Barksdale transferring: Buried on the depth chart, Doeren said NIU sophomore backup linebacker Greg Barksdale has decided to transfer out of the program. Doeren said Barksdale left the program on good terms with him, and also that Barksdale had a good semester academically.

“He just felt like he could get on the field somewhere else faster,” Doeren said. “That happens sometimes with a winning program. You have some guys who don’t get the playing time they want. Greg’s a great kid, and we wish him a lot of success.”

• Shaw Media’s Caitlin Mullen contributed to this report.

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