Tide's appeal to NCAA in textbook case denied

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The vacating-of-wins penalty against Alabama will stand after the school’s appeal to the NCAA was denied.

The NCAA had stripped the defending national champions of 21 wins — 10 from 2005, six from 2006 and five from 2007 — after an investigation uncovered major violations stemming from textbook improprieties.

In its appeal, Alabama argued that the vacating-of-wins penalty was “excessive and constituted an abuse of discretion”, as well as noting that the Committee on Infractions had “failed adequately to consider the institution’s cooperation.”

Obviously, the NCAA disagreed with the school’s stance.

We disagree that that the Committee on Infractions failed adequately to consider and weigh the institution’s cooperation. In fact, the Committee on Infractions noted at several places in its report that it had considered the institution’s cooperation. While the institution may disagree as a matter of substance with the Committee on Infractions’ conclusions regarding the level and nature of that cooperation, and its impact on the penalties imposed, we find no basis on which to conclude that the Committee on Infractions’ determinations in that regard constituted an abuse of discretion.

Textbook And Vacations-of-Wins Case Precedents

As noted above, the institution argued that the vacation-of-wins penalty improperly departed from the Committee on Infractions’ textbook and vacation-of-wins case precedents. We acknowledge, as the institution argued, that the facts presented in the University of Colorado, Boulder Committee on Infractions’ case (2007) were generally similar to those present here, but the Committee on Infractions did not vacate any wins; and prior textbook cases did not include the imposition of a vacation of wins.

On the other hand, the Committee on Infractions has noted significant aggravating factors in this case, including the institution’s status as a repeat offender. Seldom will two cases be exactly alike. And while we reiterate that the Committee on Infractions must maintain consistency among its decisions over time, we also recognize, as we have noted before, that the Committee on Infractions “must have latitude in tailoring remedies to the particular circumstances involved in each case.” [Georgia Institute of Technology Infractions Appeals Report (May 18, 2006) Page No. 11]. We find no abuse of discretion in the Committee on Infractions’ vacation of wins.

In addition to losing 21 wins in football, Alabama was also placed on probation through June 10, 2012, as well as “public reprimand and censure.”

Athletic director Mal Moore, per the Birmingham News, expressed disappointment in the NCAA’s denial of their appeal.

“We’re very disappointed because the Committee missed an excellent opportunity to follow its precedent set in recent cases, the precedent we followed due to the nature of the case,” Moore said.

“We have thoroughly addressed the situation and have taken corrective measures. We are eager to move forward while continuing to build a program that not only is successful on the field, but also reflects the values of our University.”

New Mexico State’s leading receiver joins Maryland as grad transfer

Teldrick Morgan
New Mexico State athletics
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Teldrick Morgan had been a significant part of New Mexico State’s passing game the past two seasons.  In 2016, he’ll try to play the same role at a Big Ten school.

Maryland announced in a press release that Morgan, a native of Hanover, Maryland, has transferred to the university and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Terps.  As Morgan is coming to College Park as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

The upcoming season will be the wide receiver’s final year of eligibility.

“Teldrick brings a great deal to our program and we’re excited that he’s a part of our family,” first-year Terps head coach DJ Durkin said in a statement. “It’s always great to bring a local kid back home, and on top of that he’s very skilled and brings a wealth of experience to our receivers unit.”

Each of the past two seasons, Morgan led the Aggies in receptions.  He caught 75 passes in 2014, although that production dipped to 45 in 2015.  A part of that drop was due to a groin injury that cost the 6-0, 195-pound receiver three games, as well as the continued emergence of Larry Rose III (1,651 yards rushing).

Morgan totaled 120 receptions for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns

Two years after ‘parting ways’ with Baylor, WR Robbie Rhodes dismissed by Bowling Green

Robbie Rhoads
Associated Press
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Some kids/young adults will simply never learn, at least not the easy way.  Case in point: Robbie Rhodes.

In June of 2014, reports surfaced that Rhodes had, ahem, “parted ways” with Baylor “for undisclosed reasons.”  That move came a month after Rhodes was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence, even as charges were never filed against him.  Two months after “parting ways” with BU, Bowling Green announced that the wide receiver had transferred into its football program.

Nearly two years later?  He gone.  Again.

According to the Toledo Blade, Rhodes has been dismissed from the Falcons football team.  The only stated reason was an unspecified violation of team rules.

Rhodes, a four-star 2013 recruit rated as the No. 8 receiver in the country that year, appeared in 11 games as a true freshman for the Bears, recording 10 receptions for 157 yards.  After sitting out the 2014 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Rhodes played in seven games for the Falcons last season, recording three catches for 130 yards.

Rhodes’ departure leaves the Falcons with just two receivers who have caught passes at the collegiate level — Ronnie Moore (third on the team in 2015 with 72 receptions for 954 yards and six touchdowns) and Scott Miller (7-29 last season).

Five-star ‘Bama signee set for second surgery in three months

Lyndell Wilson
Rivals.com
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Even as Lyndell Wilson has yet to play a down of college football, the highly-touted 2016 signee simply can’t buy an injury break.

In late March, Wilson announced via Twitter that he would be undergoing surgery in short order to repair a torn labrum in one of his shoulders.  Three months later, the linebacker announced via the same social media site that he has to undergo a medical procedure to repair a torn meniscus in one of his knees.

Per Wilson’s tweet, that has since been deleted for whatever reason, the surgery will be performed Tuesday.  There’s no prognosis on how much time Wilson will miss, including whether he will be available for the start of summer camp in early August.

While the tweet announcing the surgery no longer appears on his Twitter feed, a retweet and another of his own tweets suggests he has yet another injury hurdle to overcome.

For what it’s worth, the school has yet to address any potential health issues with which Wilson may be dealing.

Wilson was one of five Rivals.com five-star recruits signed by the Tide this recruiting cycle. The Montgomery, Ala., native was rated as the No. 4 outside linebacker in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Alabama; and the No. 26 player overall by that recruiting service. 247Sports.com had the 6-1, 235-pound high schooler as the No. 15 overall prospect in the Class of 2016.

Art Briles played a role in Auburn landing ex-Baylor signee

WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 06:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears during play against the Northwestern State Demons at McLane Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Art Briles may be out as Baylor’s head football coach, but he still has some influence over at least one member of his last recruiting class.

Over the weekend, Kam Martin announced via Twitter that he had committed to play his college football for Gus Malzahn at Auburn.  The running back chose Auburn over another contender in TCU.

Malzahn and Briles are good friends who, prior to Briles’ dismissal in the wake of the sexual assault scandal in the football program, brainstormed together this offseason.  When Martin received a release from his BU National Letter of Intent, he turned to Briles for advice, with his former coach advising him that Auburn would be “a great fit.”

“He helped me — I still have a great relationship with him,” Martin told 247Sports.com. “He just told me Auburn is a great fit for me with Coach Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff. He said if I was going to Baylor and he was there, it would be the same type of vibe (as at Auburn). He told me Coach Gus would take care of me. He said with him, it’s about the player, about the university.

“And shoot, he’s an offensive guru.”

A four-star 2016 prospect, Martin will be eligible to play for said guru’s squad this coming season.