After various members of the media started to latch on to the fact that the Florida Gators weren’t exactly altar boys, a mini offseason outrage began brewing over Urban Meyer‘s program. The 24 arrests provided the ammunition to detractors to dispel any claims that Meyer was a disciplinarian and that he only recruited the “best of the best” to become Florida Gators.After the Orlando Sentinel released the definitive list and breakdown of the Gator arrests, the university finally commented on the situation, doing their best to spin things and claim that the situation was getting better.”This group of players we have now are by and large a pretty good group. They are 18-to-22 years old, and, like most young people, they are trying to find their way,” Meyer released in a statement.”It is a continual part of our program to mentor and guide our players and it is not an exact process. Although we have been very successful with most, we are by no means perfect. We are disappointed when we encounter some issues along the way, but we are going to continue to educate and teach our players.”Here are a few facts provided by the university to the Orlando Sentinel:— Only three arrests from the last three recruiting classes (including 2009)– At least 14 of the charges were dropped in the 24 cases– 14 of the 24 player arrests have been from players Meyer didn’t recruit or were in his first recruiting class– The 24 arrests represents 19 different players– Arrests by recruiting class:Six weren’t recruited by MeyerEight in first classSeven in second classTwo in third classOne in fourth classNone in fifth classIt seems that Meyer has been doing plenty of work with his cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford, because his back-pedal is rock solid. (Rim Shot!) It’s never good when you’ve got your media relations department breaking down your recruiting classes by arrest, and touting that the 24 arrests are only spread among 19 different players. (A positive: The 2009 recruiting class, all 3 months old, has zero criminal record.)It was wise for Florida to finally address the growing roar, but more importantly, Meyer’s Gators better be on their best behavior until college football writers have some actual football to write about.
When word first broke of NCAA violations against Ole Miss, word from the Rebels’ football program was one of caution, for it was uncertain how many were targeted against football versus women’s basketball and track and field.
It appears we now know.
On Tuesday evening, the Associated Press reported the NCAA levied 13 allegations out of a possible 28 against the Ole Miss football team, nine of which occurred under the watch of head coach Hugh Freeze. However, it appears the most serious violations were either already know or took place during the Houston Nutt regime.
Included in the allegations are Laremy Tunsil‘s improper benefits, for which the left tackle already sat seven games. Also included are accusations former Nutt assistant David Saunders participated in a scheme to produce fraudulent test scores for recruits — the same allegations currently levied against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The remaining allegations, as detailed by the AP, include run-of-the-mill violations such as having the wrong people provide transportation on recruiting visits or assistant coaches making improper contact with recruits, many of which Ole Miss has already self-reported.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.
In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.
The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.
Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.
Data dump, begin!
The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).
Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.
The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.
The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.
View the full AAC slate here:
Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.
After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.