New recruiting rule will restrict coaches-in-waiting

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Right about now, there are probably quite a few upset people in the offices of the Texas football program.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the NCAA recently approved a new rule that limits the amount of contact a designated coach-in-waiting can have with recruits.  Basically, the coach-in-waiting will be forced to recruit under the same guidelines as head coaches, meaning less visits with potential recruits than other assistants on the staff.

Here’s the relevant information from the NCAA on the restrictions that have previously applied to head coaches, and will now apply to their designated successors:

13.1.2.6 Head Coach Restrictions — Bowl Subdivision Football.

13.1.2.6.1 Assistant Coach Publicly Designated as Institution’s Next Head Coach. Aninstitution’s assistant coach who has been publicly designated by the institution tobecome its next head coach shall be subject to the recruiting restrictions applicable to theinstitution’s head coach.

B. Bylaws: Amend 13.1.8.4, as follows:

13.1.8.4 Limitations on Number of Evaluations — Football. In football, institutional staff membersshall be limited to three evaluations during the academic year during which the prospective studentathletecompetes or practices on any team. Not more than one evaluation may be used during the fallevaluation period and not more than two evaluations may be used during the April 15 through May 31evaluation period. An authorized off-campus recruiter may use one evaluation to assess theprospective student-athlete’s athletics ability and one evaluation to assess the prospective studentathlete’sacademic qualifications during the April 15 through May 31 evaluation period. If aninstitution’s coaching staff member conducts both an athletics and an academic evaluation of aprospective student-athlete on the same day during the April 15 through May 31 evaluation period,the institution shall be charged with the use of an academic evaluation only and shall be permitted toconduct a second athletics evaluation of the prospective student-athlete on a separate day during theevaluation period.

13.1.8.4.1 Head Coach Restriction — Spring Evaluation Period. In bowl subdivision football,during the April 15 through May 31 evaluation period, the head coach [and any assistant coachwho has been publicly designated by the institution to become the next head coach (seeBylaw 13.1.2.6.1)] shall not engage in off-campus recruiting activities, participating in off-campus recruiting activities, participating in an off-campus coaching clinic, visit a prospectivestudent-athlete’s educational institution for any reason or meet with a prospective studentathlete’scoach at an off-campus location.

Obviously, this new piece of legislation will affect Texas more than any other program in the country.

Will Muschamp was designated as the Longhorns’ coach-in-waiting in November of 2008.  He’s also one of the top recruiters in the country and one the reasons why the Longhorns pull in a Top Ten recruiting class year in and year out.

For those institutions and fans of the college football game who are against the idea of designating a coach-in-waiting, this is good news and one that we would think would all but eliminate the practice.

For Texas?  It sucks, to be blunt (Maryland too, I guess.).  But it will really have more of an impact on the Longhorns and seems to be a rule directed squarely at the school, even though it wasn’t as it was proposed by the Big East.

And Florida State can feel fortunate that it didn’t go into effect until after their best recruiter, Jimbo Fisher, officially took over for Bobby Bowden.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.