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.

Former Bowling Green lineman settles concussion lawsuit for $700K

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 4: The Bowling Green Falcons enters the field prior to the start of the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies on December 4, 2015 during the MAC Championship at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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A former Bowling Green football player who claimed he suffered permanent brain damage has settled a lawsuit with the university.

According to the Toledo Blade, Cody Silk will receive a $712,500 settlement in the agreement reached between himself and BGSU.  As part of the agreement, the university did not admit fault and the former offensive lineman agreed that he would not pursue any further damage claims.

Silk had filed his suit in 2013, claiming “that BGSU coaches and medical staff failed to withhold him from practices after he suffered repeated concussions.”  Silk claimed that he had suffered two concussions in 2010, but was cleared by the football program’s medical staff to return to full-contact status in practice; shortly thereafter, he suffered a third concussion.

The lineman subsequently parted ways with the team, lost his scholarship and dropped out of school.

The settlement came after Silk’s attorneys had asked the Ohio Court of Claims to reconsider their initial rejection.  From the Columbus Dispatch:

 The court initially rejected Silk’s claims, finding Silk signed a release of liability to play football in which he assumed the risk of possible injury. He refiled the claim last year. A state attorney claimed Silk was exaggerating and overreporting his symptoms, but the settlement will keep the case from going to trial.

In their motion for reconsideration, Silks’ representation contended, the Blade wrote, “the release [of liability] didn’t cover ‘wanton and willful misconduct,’ which he alleged BGSU’s conduct was.”

Hogs WR Keon Hatcher undergoes second surgery on same foot

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - SEPTEMBER 5:  Keon Harcher #4 of the Arkansas Razorbacks catches a touchdown pass over Kalon Beverly #32 of the UTEP Miners at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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An injury that wiped out most of Keon Hatcher‘s 2015 season has resurfaced.

On social media over the weekend, Hatcher posted a video which revealed his left foot encased in a post-surgery boot.  WholeHogSports.com subsequently confirmed through multiple sources that Hatcher had indeed undergone surgery recently.

The website writes “[i]t’s unclear why Hatcher required the surgery or whether he will miss any practice or playing time because of the surgery.”  The university has thus far declined to address the receiver’s status, although head coach Bret Bielema could be expected to touch on the situation during a post-spring press conference Thursday.

During Arkansas’ Week 2 upset loss to Toledo, Hatcher suffered a broken left foot that at first was expected to sideline him for a minimum of six weeks but, following surgery, ultimately cost him the remainder of the season.

At the time of the injury, Hatcher was the Razorbacks’ leader with 198 receiving yards and two touchdowns.  In 2014, he led the team with 558 yards receiving and six touchdowns.

Hatcher received a medical hardship waiver for the 2015 season, which will allow him to return as a fifth-year senior this season.

QB Nick Johns decides to transfer from Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - SEPTEMBER 25: A Virginia Cavaliers fan reacts to the Cavaliers being charged with a safety in the second quarter against the Boise State Broncos at Scott Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Seeing the writing on Virginia’s depth chart wall, Nick Johns has decided to take his leave of Charlottesville.

As more and more kids are doing these days — especially the cool ones — Johns took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to leave the Cavaliers football program and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere.  According to the quarterback, he was given an unrestricted release from his UVa. scholarship.

Johns, who is not related to returning Cavalier starting quarterback Matt Johns, was a three-star member of UVa.’s 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the District of Columbia. As he didn’t see the field as a true freshman, Johns’ main claim to fame during his brief time with the Cavaliers was a driving while intoxicated charged he accrued last August.

With Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, a Texas/Arizona transfer, in a dead-heat for the starting job exiting the spring, and former East Carolina starter Kurt Benkert added as a graduate transfer over the weekend, Nick Johns’ decision to leave for a better shot at playing time is understandable.

Wyoming basketball player gives up hoops to play football

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 24: Head coach Craig Bohl of the Wyoming Cowboys rallies his team at the start of the fourth quarter of the game against the Boise State Broncos on October 24, 2015 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 34-14. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
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At the expense of its basketball team, Wyoming’s football team has made an early-May addition to its roster.

Austin Conway, a Cowboys basketball player, expressed a desire to play football earlier this year and was given clearance by both head coaches involved, Craig Bohl on the football side, Allen Edwards on the basketball side, to participate in spring practice.  With the 15 spring sessions now in the books, Conway has made his decision and will give up basketball in order to concentrate on football.

Conway, a Colorado high school quarterback, will play wide receiver at the collegiate level as well as return kicks for the Cowboys.

“I had nice long talks with Coach Bohl and Coach Edwards at the end of spring football,” said Conway in quotes distributed by the school. “Both coaches were very supportive. The biggest thing was I just had to follow my heart. I felt really comfortable being back out on the football field this spring. It felt like I was at home back on the field.”

Conway, who took a redshirt for the Cowboys basketball team as a true freshman in the 2015-16 season, will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 and will have four years of eligibility remaining.  The press release stated that the player’s “scholarship will be shifted from the basketball team to the football team beginning in the summer of 2016.”

As for his football credentials, here is the pertinent 411 from the release:

Conway was an outstanding football and basketball player at Overland High School in Aurora, Colo. He was named to The Denver Post’s All-Colorado team for all classifications as a dual-threat quarterback his senior season of 2014. During his senior season, he passed for 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 509 rushing yards and five rushing TDs. His junior season, Conway accumulated 1,847 passing yards and 1,130 rushing yards for 2,977 yards of total offense. He had a combined 31 touchdowns, 19 through the air and 12 on the ground. 

“Austin showed us during spring football that he has a passion for the game of football and that he had the skills to benefit our team moving forward,” said Bohl. “We were aware of Austin’s football accomplishments in high school. The fact that he has only been away from the game for a year we believe will make his transition a smooth one. He certainly benefitted from going through spring practice with us and will benefit from having a full summer to work with our strength and conditioning staff. We are excited to have Austin as a part of our team.

“Coach Edwards and I have been working together through this process to try and help Austin decide what is best for him. I want to thank Allen (Edwards) for his willingness to help Austin find the path that he feels is best for his future.