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NCAA digs deeper, looks for connection between Lyles and LSU

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Alice is going deeper into the rabbit hole.

Two weeks ago, in what seemed to be the connection to radio host Colin Cowherd‘s cryptic prediction that the NCAA was about to drop the hammer on yet another top-25 program, Yahoo! and ESPN reported that the financial ties between Oregon and a Texas-based scouting service were being called into question.

The investigation centers around Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services and his connection to Oregon running backs Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James. Oregon has a history with Lyles’ scouting service, and although the Ducks’ athletic department has been upfront with presenting financial records to the NCAA, Oregon did pay Lyles an eyebrow-raising $16,500 more for his services last year after Seastrunk signed his LOI to Oregon in 2010. 

With that investigation ongoing, the NCAA is now apparently looking into a possible connection between Lyles and new LSU signee Trevon Randle, a linebacker from League City, Texas. The NCAA has reportedly interviewed Randle about the situation.

LSU, like Oregon, has admitted to paying for scouting services — which, for the record, is allowed by NCAA bylaws. Associate athletic director Herb Vincent said LSU paid $6,000 for different scouting services this past year, including Complete Scouting Services, and that the practice is “a normal course of business.”

Vincent also said he has not been contacted from the NCAA about Lyles.

Not to paint a bad picture of Lyles (but we’re going to anyway — or, at least, Thayer Evans will), but in a recent FOX Sports report on the recruitment of Seastrunk, Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite even went so far as to call Lyles “bad news” and “a street agent”.

Suffice it to say, things are gaining momentum in a bad way for Lyles, and potentially, any school connected with him. If evidence is found that Lyles influenced a recruit to sign with a particular school, that could be seen as impermissible contact with an agent in the eyes of the NCAA.

The NCAA will continue to look down the rabbit hole. It’ll be interesting to see what they find on the other side.

In statement, SEC reaffirms league to rescind its satellite camp ban

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The SEC had fought hard in pushing the NCAA’s Div. 1 Council to ban the practice of satellite camps, and then continued to push for The Association’s Board of Directors to reaffirm the ban.  In the end, though, that conference has taken the “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” tack.

Shortly after the NCAA confirmed that its Board of Directors had, at least for the foreseeable future, rescinded the ban on coaches taking part in football camps outside of their regions, the SEC confirmed that it will be rescinding its own ban on the practice.  That rescinding follows through on the “threat” made last year by the conference that it would, essentially, unleash its football programs on the rest of the country if a ban wasn’t enacted.

The SEC’s lifting of the ban on such camps is not effective immediately; rather, it will take effect May 29.  After that date, as outgoing commissioner Mike Slive said in late May last year, “our folks will be free to fan out all over the country and have at it.”

In a statement, Slive’s replacement, Greg Sankey, lamented the lifting of the ban while at the same time reaffirmed that “SEC coaches will be allowed to engage in summer camps as a result of Conference legislation approved during the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings.”

Below is the entirety of Sankey’s statement.

While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors’ decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts.

“We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best-focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football.

DUI charge against Vols’ Charles Mosley dropped

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Sometimes, most times, a college football player will see the charges he was initially facing drastically reduces.  Very rarely are the charges dropped entirely, yet that’s where the situation involving a Tennessee Volunteer currently stands.

In late July, Charles Mosley was arrested following a traffic stop and charged with first-offense driving under the influence and speeding.  Fast-forward nine months and, the Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting, both of those charges have been dismissed.  The dismissal came after a preliminary hearing earlier today.

The initial traffic stop was initiated because Mosley was clocked doing 79 in a 55 mph zone.  The arresting officer smelled the odor of marijuana as he approached the vehicle; Mosley claimed he had been at a hotel with friends a short time earlier and they were smoking weed (the second-hand smell defense).  That said, marijuana residue was found in the passenger seat next to Mosley as well as his backseat, and the offensive lineman performed poorly on a field sobriety test.

Mosley had submitted to a drug test, but, the News Sentinel writes, “Mosley’s attorney Steve Oberman said the case was dismissed because the state failed to establish probable cause to arrest” his client.

“The arresting officer believed he had sufficient grounds to arrest Mr. Mosley,” Oberman told the paper. “The proof presented today in court was insufficient to send the case to the grand jury. … Mr. Mosley and I are thrilled to have the case concluded in such a favorable fashion.”

The proof presented in court wasn’t detailed.

After “internal discipline” from head coach Butch Jones, Mosley appeared in 12 games for the Vols in 2015.  He exited spring practice this year as a second-team offensive lineman.

In July of 2014, Mosley was involved in a car wreck the Tennessee Highway Patrol deemed serious enough that the 2014 UT signee was said to be “lucky to be alive.” The lineman sustained a broken leg in the accident, one in which he was a passenger in a vehicle that was being driven by a family member.

Because of the injury, he missed the entire 2014 season and was limited during spring practice earlier that year.

Bob Stoops ‘not relying on’ QB Cody Thomas returning to Sooners

NORMAN, OK - DECEMBER 6:  Quarterback Cody Thomas #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to throw against the Oklahoma State Cowboys December 6, 2014 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Sooners 38-35 in overtime.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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It appears Oklahoma will head into the summer and on into camp relatively thin at the quarterback position.

In January of this year, Cody Thomas announced that he had decided to leave the Sooners’ football team for OU’s baseball team.  There have been rumblings that Thomas, who started three games in 2014 but saw his playing time decrease dramatically in 2015, could return to the football team for the fall.

During a radio interview Thursday, Thomas’ former head coach essentially quashed such speculation.

“That hasn’t been talked about. I don’t think so. That isn’t something that we’ve talked about at all,” Bob Stoops told The Sports Animal by way of Tulsa World. “(Thomas’ return) isn’t something that we’re relying on.”

Baker Mayfield will enter the 2015 season firmly entrenched as the starter, and his name will likely litter preseason Heisman lists coming off a season that many felt should’ve earned him finalist recognition for the award.  Thomas served as Mayfield’s backup in 2015, and was expected to assume the same role in 2016.

Instead, that responsibility will likely fall on the shoulders of Austin Kendall, a true freshman early enrollee who very much impressed Stoops this spring.

“I really loved what Austin Kendall did,” Stoops said in same interview. “As a young guy, he was exceptional. I was really excited about that as a true freshman right out of high school.

“To play the whole spring – not just one day – the way he did was really exciting for everybody.”

The only other quarterbacks on the roster are Kyler Murray, Reece Clark and Connor McGinnis.  Murray is a transfer from Texas A&M who’s ineligible to play this season, while Clark and McGinnis, both redshirt freshmen, will likely settle in as the No. 3 quarterback, with the latter walk-on the favorite entering summer for that job.

Ban on satellite camps rescinded, NCAA announces

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh plays shirtless with participants during the Coach Jim Harbaugh's Elite Summer Football Camp, Friday, June 5, 2015, at Prattville High School in Prattville, Ala. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)  NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT
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Somewhere, Jim Harbaugh is dancing a jig.  And his SEC counterparts are pitching a fit.

Earlier this month, the NCAA Div. 1 council controversially voted to ban the practice of satellite camps.  A short time later, NCAA executive Oliver Luck confirmed that the rule would likely be revisited, which it was at a Board of Directors meeting Thursday morning.

Ahead of that meeting, Harbaugh hoped the board “gets it right” by rescinding the ban; coming out of the meeting, the Michigan head coach — along with the rest of the Big Ten and most of the Group of Five conferences, not to mention recruits who will now have more opportunities for additional exposure — will be ecstatic as the board did just that, with the NCAA announcing the directors have “rescinded a rule prohibiting Football Bowl Subdivision coaches from holding or working at camps and clinics away from their school.”

While the lifting of the ban is effective immediately, meaning coaches can continue on with their planned “satellite camps,” it doesn’t mean the issue has completely run its course.  The board has requested that the council, which implemented the ban initially, “conduct a broad assessment of the FBS recruiting environment” as well as “consider the entire recruiting model, including potential modifications to camps and clinics participation.”

The Div. 1 council consists of all 10 FBS conferences with the votes of the Power Five leagues (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) holding twice the weight as their counterparts from the Group of Five (AAC, Conference USA, MAC, MWC, SBC).  That group approved the initial ban by a by a 10-5 margin. Those voting for the ban included the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, Mountain West and Sun Belt; those against the ban were the Big Ten, AAC, Conference USA and the MAC.

It subsequently surfaced that the Pac-12 representative, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrerodid not vote the way he was supposed to on the satellite camp issue.  Prior to that vote, 11 of the 12 schools in that conference were in favor of the status quo and against banning the practice, with UCLA the lone abstention.

The SEC as well as the ACC will no doubt continue stumping against the practice and pushing for the ban to be reimplemented as the camps mostly infringe on “their” recruiting territory.  In the meantime, the SEC, at least, is expected to rescind its own conference ban on the camps, allowing its coaching staffs to spread out across the country if they so desire.

For now, however, Harbaugh’s program seems pleased with winning this particular battle in the recruiting war.

Also for now, the practice is back on, with the not-so-thinly-veiled implication, however, that it could be back off at some point in the not-too-distant future.

The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle,” said Board of Directors chair Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina, in a statement. “We share the Council’s interest in improving the camp environment, and we support the Council’s efforts to create a model that emphasizes the scholastic environment as an appropriate place for recruiting future student-athletes.”

UPDATED 2:34 p.m. ET: Officials from both the ACC and SEC have confirmed to CFT that their bans on satellite camps will be rescinded.  The former’s lifting is effective immediately, while the latter’s will go into effect at the end of May.