That Arizona State, expected to be a competitor in the inaugural season for the Pac-12 South, is losing a two-year starter along its defensive line is bad enough. Defensive end James Brooks was third on the team in sacks and also among the leaders in tackles for loss in 2010.
Brooks has had issues in the past, including of the personal variety that also led to the most recent departure. And he's also considered leaving to make hip-hop music. (No, really.)
But what makes Brooks leaving the team any worse is that he joins a long list of players who are at least temporarily unavailable for the Sun Devils' expected championship run.
The Sun Devils already are without cornerback Omar Bolden, a unanimous All-Pac-10 selection last season who tore an ACL in the spring and could be lost for the season.
Besides those losses, ASU also is without quarterback Steven Threet, who retired because of symptoms related to concussions. Receiver T.J. Simpson tore an ACL in the spring and running back Deantre Lewis, a big-play threat as a freshman, was injured in a random shooting near his hometown of Norco, Calif.
For a team that wants to contend, the Arizona State roster is beginning to look pretty thin.