Even as it’s been well over a year since Dez Bryant last played a down for Oklahoma State, his myriad off-field issues could still come back and bite the college Cowboys square in their saddle.
Bryant, who will apparently dress up as a lawsuit this Halloween — think Denzel in Philadelphia — has been sued approximately 127 times in the past several hours*. As it turns out, one of those lawsuits may point to NCAA violations committed by Bryant while he still had eligibility and could lead to sanctions against his former school.
As noted by our redheaded maternal third cousin once removed on Tuesday, it was claimed in a lawsuit recently filed against Bryant that the current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver had received on credit over $300,000 in jewelry and tickets to sporting events beginning in December of 2008 or January of 2009. Tulsa World pegs the date he began receiving the “loans” as June of 2009. Regardless of whether it’s the former or the latter date, Bryant was an eligible member of OSU’s football program when he received what would be considered impermissible benefits.
If Bryant received goods with the intention of paying back the jeweler after he turned pro, it could be a violation of NCAA amateur rules against paying players.
Bylaw 22.214.171.124.6 states that prohibited pay includes: “Preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete….”
If Cowboys officials had knowledge of Bryant’s deal soon after it happened, the school could face sanctions. If not, it’s unlikely that OSU would be penalized.
A member of OSU’s compliance department told Tulsa World that this development is “new information to us” and that “it’s something we’re certainly going to look at.”
Bryant was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA in October of 2009 for lying to the NCAA regarding certain aspects of his relationship with Deion Sanders. An appeal led to the NCAA ruling in late October of 2009 that his eligibility would be restored in September of 2010, although Bryant opted to leave school early and make himself available for the 2010 NFL draft.
(*it’s actually three suits in a couple of months, but we felt the hyperbole was fitting. Sorry for any inconvenience and/or angst this may have caused.)
Another former Baylor Bear has found himself a landing spot, although this time it’s not rival Texas that’s the beneficiary.
On Twitter overnight, Kam Martin announced that he has committed to play his college football for the Auburn Tigers. The running back’s decision came shortly after the Texas native took a visit to The Plains.
Martin opted for Auburn over TCU.
“The main reason I committed to Auburn was because it’s family, man,” Martin told SEC Country in an interview after announcing his decision. “Those guys did everything that I wanted to hear and everything speaks for itself. It’s the SEC, one of the biggest fan bases in the nation and I just want to be a part of something big and special.”
Martin was one of five 2016 Baylor signees who were granted releases by the university from their National Letters of Intent last week. A four-star 2016 signee according to 247Sports.com, the 5-10, 178-pound Johnson was rated as the No. 7 all-purpose back in the country; the No. 39 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 268 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.
As is the case with other 2016 Bears signees who have fled Waco, Johnson will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.
In Auburn’s 113-year history, it’s never played a Big Ten opponent in a regular season game. That’ll change in five years.
Penn State and Auburn announced Monday morning a home-and-home series to take place in 2021 and 2022. The first game will be played in State College on Sept. 18, 2021 and the return will take place at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022.
“This is another great opportunity for our players and fans to be part of something special,” Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. “Bringing together elite programs rich in tradition is what college football is all about. We look forward to this home-and-home series with Penn State.”
Making matters betters is the home-and-home nature of this series, instead of playing it as a neutral site one-off to begin a season. Those games are fun (and, far more importantly, generate a ton of revenue) but having Penn State travel to Alabama and Tigers fans going to State College is a far better experience for traveling fanbases.
Auburn and Penn State have met twice before in bowl games, with the most recent meeting a 13-9 Tigers win in the 2003 Capital One Bowl.
Penn State also added a 2021 home game against Ball State on Monday, per ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.
Notre Dame rising redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr.‘s status with Brian Kelly’s football team won’t change after he signed with the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.
Hunter is Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver after catching 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns last year. But even though he now has a professional baseball contract, his focus will remain on football and the beginning of preseason camp in August.
Hunter, the son of former Minnesota Twins, Angels and Detroit Tigers All-Star/Gold Glover Torii Hunter Sr., was a 23rd-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft.
Hunter, an outfielder, was primarily used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement for Mik Aoki’s Irish baseball team this spring. He worked a crazy schedule (“what is sleep?” he asked) to split time between baseball, spring football and classwork in March and April and hit .182/.308/.182 in 11 at-bats.
Hunter’s baseball highlight came at Florida State, though, a few days after he made a spectacular catch reeling in a Malik Zaire deep ball in Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Game.
Auburn could be the beneficiary of an offensive transfer in the not-too-distant future, but the football program has apparently sustained a loss on the other side of the ball.
In a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account Sunday, Justin Thomas-Thornton revealed that he will be “pursuing my collegiate football and academic endeavors elsewhere.” The defensive lineman gave no reason for his decision to leave The Plains.
Thomas-Thornton, a four-star 2014 signee, played in the 2015 opener against Louisville, but didn’t see any other action the remainder of the year.
If Thomas-Thornton opts for another FBS program, he will be forced to sit out the 2016 season. He’d then be left with two seasons of eligibility that he’d be able to use beginning in 2017.