The Cougfan story lists conflicting reports from sources as the reason for Caldwell's departure, including both possibilities that he quit or was dismissed. Thorpe's story confirms the departure, but adds nothing new.
Caldwell split time at running back each of the past two years, starting eight games and amassing more than 100 carries and 540 yards. However, he got passed on the depth chart by Theron West heading into the New Mexico Bowl, and his free fall continued in the spring as he was also passed by redshirt freshmen Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks.
Faced with the prospect of sitting behind a senior and a pair of younger players, Caldwell switched to a position of need -- safety -- just about a week before the opener against Rutgers. He ended up starting and played the majority of the game, collecting four tackles.
However, he once again was passed on the depth chart; after leaving the field with an apparent injury against the Scarlet Knights, he was replaced by Darius Lemora, who retained the job heading into Nevada. Caldwell had fallen off the depth chart altogether for this week's game against Portland State.
We have no idea what happened to prompt this, but it had to be a pretty big deal: After playing in the opener, Caldwell -- a junior -- is ineligible to redshirt upon transfer unless he can convince the NCAA that he was hurt bad enough in that game that he would have missed the rest of the season, which would make him eligibile for a medical hardship waiver.
Worst case scenario for him? He transfers to another FBS school and is eligible to play as a senior after missing his team's first two games.
This seems like a bad deal for everyone. Bummer.
Here's what we do know: The program has just lost another quality athlete, something it can ill afford.