BUFFALO, NY – University at Buffalo senior tailback James Starks will miss his final season after a labral tear was discovered in his shoulder. As a fifth-year senior, Starks will not have any eligibility remaining.
"The doctors did an MRI that revealed James had a labral tear that required surgery," said head coach Turner Gill. "He tried rehab and practices but it was too painful for him to play. Therefore he will have the surgery now and miss the season. It will be a 4-6 month recovery period. Doctors have told me that they anticipate he will make a complete recovery and I believe he will have an opportunity to play at the next level.
"On behalf of the staff and his teammates we want to thank James for all of his outstanding contributions to the University at Buffalo football program, the University and the Western New York community. He is scheduled to graduate in December, and of course, will remain a part of this program."
Starks is the school's all-time leading rusher with 3,140 yards and 34 rushing touchdowns. He has scored the most points (222) of any player in UB's history and ranks fifth in all-purpose yardage with 3,830 yards. Starks had been named to the pre-season watch list for the Doak Walker Memorial trophy, given to the nation's top running back.
"Injuries are, and will always be, a huge part of football," said Gill, "but this one is particularly painful because of what James has meant to this program and community. However, this is an incredible opportunity for a group of very talented running backs that we have to step up and help us achieve our goals this season."