Hocutt bolts Miami for AD job at Texas Tech

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One day after reports emerged that Miami may lose their athletic director to Texas Tech, the Hurricanes have indeed officially lost their AD to the Red Raiders.

In a press release issued by the school, Tech announced that they have hired Kirby Hocutt as the school’s 13th athletic director.  The 38-year-old Hocutt will replace Gerald Myers, who announced his retirement last August.  That retirement becomes effective May 31.

“We are pleased that Kirby Hocutt has accepted our offer to become the next athletics director at Texas Tech University,” said Texas Tech President Dr. Guy Bailey.  “There are a few small details to be worked out but we have an agreement in principle.  We are excited about the future of our athletics program and look forward to his leadership.  This is a great day for Texas Tech Athletics.”

Bailey’s counterpart at Miami, on the other hand, was none too pleased that she lost her AD after less than three years on the job.

“I am deeply disappointed that after only two-and-a-half years of a very successful tenure as leader of our athletics programs, Kirby Hocutt has decided to accept the AD position at Texas Tech,” President Donna Shalala said in a statement. ” We did everything we could to convince him to stay, but in the end it was an intensely personal decision.   I thank Kirby for his integrity, leadership, and dedication to the University.”

Hocutt will be returning to his “roots” as he’s both a Texas native and has extensive ties to the Big 12 conference.  He was a linebacker at Kansas State, and also spent six years as an administrator at Oklahoma.

“It is with great pleasure that I accept the position as Director of Athletics for Texas Tech,” Hocutt said. “I am excited about this tremendous opportunity and look forward to working with the University leadership, coaches, staff and student-athletes as we focus on advancing the department of intercollegiate athletics.  As a former student-athlete and administrator, I am very familiar with the Big 12 Conference and look forward to returning to my home state of Texas.”

Miami will commence a nationwide immediately for Hocutt’s successor.

Per Tech’s release, details of a formal news conference will be announced at a later time.

After stops at TCU, Arkansas State, Cameron Echols-Luper to give WKU a try

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Maybe the third time will be a charm for Cameron Echols-Luper?

On his personal Instagram account Wednesday, Echols-Luper revealed that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Western Kentucky.  According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the decision was made following a visit to the school earlier this week.

As a graduate transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Hilltoppers. However, he has to finish up some schoolwork at his former school, Arkansas State, before officially moving on to WKU.

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Echols-Luper began his collegiate career at TCU in 2013, transferring to ASU in 2015. After sitting out that season, he was third on the Red Wolves in receptions (26) and receiving yards (407). His 15.7 yards per reception was second on the team.

Ex-USC DL Noah Jefferson won’t be transferring to Arizona after all

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In early March, Noah Jefferson announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from USC to Arizona.  Nearly five months later?

Never mind.

Wednesday, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that Jefferson will not, as previously expected, be playing for the Wildcats this season.  No reason for the abrupt and unexpected about-face was given.

The coach did, though, intimate that a future pairing between the player and the program isn’t out of the question.

Jefferson wouldn’t have been eligible to play in 2017 for the Wildcats even if his move to the desert had come to fruition. He would’ve, though, had two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018 at his disposal.

A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson played in 14 games, starting one of those, as a true freshman. After starting the season-opening loss to Alabama last season, Jefferson never played another down for USC.

Hugh Freeze makes first public comments since exiting Ole Miss in disgrace

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For the first time since his unceremonious exit from Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze has spoken publicly.  Somewhat.

In what was described as a brief interview with USA Today Sports Wednesday, the former Ole Miss head coach said his family and church have helped him get through the storm of the last few days. When asked if his family was standing by him, Freeze responded, “Oh, gosh, yeah.”

“God is good, even in difficult times,’’ Freeze told the website. “Wonderful wife and family, and that’s my priority.”

“I got some good friends,” the former head coach added.

The stunning news dropped last Thursday night that Freeze’s tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss had come to an end because of at least one call from his university-issued cell phone to a known escort service.  While Freeze blamed the call on a misdial, the administration found a “pattern of misconduct” during a deep dive into his phone records, leading the school to confront the coach about the situation.

After meetings with Freeze Wednesday night and then again Thursday morning, it became apparent that, if he didn’t resign, the school was going to fire him.

Because of a moral turpitude clause in his contract, there was neither a buyout nor a settlement.

Five-star 2017 Auburn signee undergoes ‘minor procedure,’ should be a go for start of summer camp

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It appears Auburn has dodged what could’ve been a significant injury bullet.

Citing a person familiar with the situation, Brandon Marcello of the Auburn arm of 247Sports.com is reporting that Calvin Ashley underwent a procedure on one of his eyes recently.  SECCountry.com described it as “a minor procedure”; both websites stated that the touted offensive tackle will be ready for the start of summer camp on July 31, this coming Monday.

The reports come a few days after Ashley posted a picture on social media of what appeared to be him in a hospital room.

The football program has not yet, at least publicly, addressed what if any type of health issue with which Ashley is dealing.

A five-star member of the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class, Ashley was rated as the No. 6 tackle in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in Washington D.C.; and the No. 27 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Ashley was the highest-rated player in AU’s class this year, the only five-star recruit pulled in by Gus Malzahn and company this cycle.

The 6-6, 310-pound Ashley is expected to compete immediately for the starting job at left tackle.