The Florida State athletic program finally has heard from the NCAA regarding the appeal of recent sanctions, but the results will remain private until the university has a chance to make their rebuttal to the decision.FSU has 15 days to respond to the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.The university is attempting to reverse the vacating of wins penalty levied by the NCAA that affected various athletic programs, including up to 14 victories that could potentially affect head coach Bobby Bowden in his race with Joe Paterno to become Div. 1’s all-time winningest coach.However, there’s a chance that, if the NCAA agrees to keep the victories in the books, the school could suffer other sanctions in its place, up to and including the loss of additional scholarships.For those interested, here’s the official press release from FSU announcing this latest development:As expected, the response by the Committee on Infractions to Florida State University’s appeal of one of the penalties recommended in the academic misconduct case was submitted to the NCAA today (Tuesday). Florida State University was notified via attached correspondence that the submission had been filed.Florida State University also learned today that information from the Enforcement Staff and the Committee on Infractions is, by NCAA procedure, posted on a secure NCAA custodial website. The NCAA’s site does not allow for the submission to be downloaded or printed, nor will Florida State University be sent a paper copy. Florida State’s outside counsel will be able to access the NCAA’s secure website in a read only manner. Florida State University General Counsel Betty Steffens will work with FSU’s outside counsel to prepare a rebuttal to the response by the Committee on Infractions. The rebuttal, which FSU will make public with certain adjustments due to state and federal privacy laws, is due to the NCAA Appeals Committee by June 17, 2009.
While the head coach at Georgia, Mark Richt had a (very classy) policy of permitting his transferring players to move onto any other institution they desired with no restrictions, including other SEC schools or even teams on the Bulldogs’ non-conference schedules. Apparently, though, that policy hasn’t followed him to Miami.
A Staten Island native, Gus Edwards has opted to transfer from the Hurricanes in order to be closer to his home as he became a father earlier this month. It had been reported that teams such as Boston College, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and Temple would be of interest to the running back. Two of those potential landing spots, however, reportedly won’t be an option.
According to a source close to Edwards, the Hurricanes and head coach Mark Richt are blocking the running back from picking a school who is on Miami’s 2017 schedule. That means two potential landing spots that are close to home and therefore meet his criteria, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, are blocked by the program.
Not only is that an about-face from his stance at UGA, it’s a 180-degree turn away from Richt’s own words during his first summer camp at The U just five months ago.
“I’ve unconditionally released any guy that ever wanted to leave, because I think life’s too short,” Richt said back in August according to the Miami Herald. “I would call the commissioner and say, ‘The kid wants to go. Wherever he wants to go, let him go.’ I think we had two kids go to Alabama, at least one went to Auburn, maybe two. But I don’t put any limitations.”
The driving force behind Richt’s apparent change of heart appears to be his boss.
“Institutionally, our policy has been that we would not do that for a school we’re going to play in the upcoming season,” UM athletic director Blake James said according to the Palm Beach Post.
Edwards, who will be leaving the football program as a graduate transfer, has yet to formally request a transfer, James added.
Right or wrong, but unsurprisingly, Shai McKenzie‘s departure from Blacksburg comes with some strings attached.
Nearly two weeks ago, McKenzie took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer from Virginia Tech and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere. On the same social media site Monday, the running back revealed that his future elsewhere won’t include any ACC schools as well as none of the teams on the Hokies’ 2017 and 2018 non-conference schedules.
The latter group includes Notre Dame, West Virginia, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Delaware and William & Mary.
A copy of my release for any coach trying to reach out to me. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/xiyTGrjl2V
— ShaiMcKenzie (@Mckenzie_era) January 23, 2017
A four-star 2014 recruit, only one signee was rated higher than McKenzie in Tech’s class that year.
The Pennsylvania native’s career actually began with promise as he was second on the team in rushing as a true freshman when he went down with a torn ACL in the fifth game of the season. At that time, McKenzie had 269 yards on the ground; in the two years since, he ran for a combined 126 yards. His 2015 season was limited to two games because of the lingering effects of the ACL injury.
As the 2017 offseason kicks into high gear, so have the annual and ever-present off-field issues.
According to multiple media outlets, TCU running back Kyle Hicks was arrested over the weekend on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. The 22-year-old Hicks and two former Horned Frog football players, Bryson Henderson and George Baltimore, were charged after police responded to reports of a fight at a Whataburger near campus very early Saturday morning.
No further details of what led to the police being called have been released.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that “[t]he TCU athletics department said in a statement Monday night that officials are aware of the incident and looking into it.”
As a junior this past season, Hicks led TCU with 1,042 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions with 47, becoming the first Horned Frog player to lead the team in both rushing and receiving since Basil Mitchell in 1996.
Hicks is expected to again be the focal point of TCU’s offense in 2017.
Not surprisingly, P.J. Fleck will have a familiar offensive face on which to lean as his oars hit the Power Five waters for the first time.
Coming off a couple of weeks worth of reports, Minnesota officially confirmed Monday that Fleck has named Kirk Ciarrocca as his new offensive coordinator. Ciarrocca had spent the past four seasons in the same position at Western Michigan, coinciding with Fleck’s tenure at the MAC school.
The school’s release stated that Ciarrocca “was instrumental in the development of Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco during his six seasons (2002-07) at the University of Delaware,” which presumably gave him a front-row seat in the “is he or isn’t he elite” argument.
With Fleck and the Gophers, and like his boss, Ciarrocca will be embarking on his first job with a Power Five program.