Ohio State hit with ‘notice of allegations’ by NCAA

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The saga that is the Ohio State football program continues Monday morning, with word that the NCAA has sent a “notice of allegations” to president E. Gordon Gee.

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the NCAA sent the notice Friday, and in it charges that head coach Jim Tressel is “guilty of ethical misconduct when he knowingly provided false information to the NCAA in certifying that he knew of no potential violations by his players and failed to inform OSU officials.”  That charge stems from Tressel signing an NCAA Certificate of Compliance form last September, which states that he had reported any known violations; the previous April, Tressel had been informed via email that at least two of his players had likely received impermissible benefits.

Tressel did not disclose that information to the university, and did not acknowledge knowing of the potential violations until confronted with emails discovered this past January.

“It was reported that Jim Tressel, head football coach, failed to deport himself in accordance with the honesty and integrity normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics and violated ethical-conduct legislation,” the notice read.

As for what type of punishment the school could be facing, the paper writes that Ohio State “is potentially facing the most severe NCAA penalties to its storied football program”.  Those sanctions could include loss of scholarships, a bowl ban and/or stripping of all 2010 wins.  The latter penalty would be for using ineligible players for the entire regular season.  The Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas would likely stand, however, as the NCAA had already restored the eligibility of the five players it had found guilty of receiving impermissible benefits.

The Buckeye Five, which includes quarterback Terrelle Pryor, will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, and there will be no additional sanctions against the players, the NCAA wrote in their notice to the school.

While OSU was not cited for “failure to monitor” or “failure of institutional control”, the NCAA warned in the notice of allegations that they may consider Ohio State a repeat offender.  That finding would be based on former OSU quarterback Troy Smith taking $500 from a booster as well as former men’s basketball head coach Jim O’Brien giving $6,000 to a recruit.

In addition to the bowl ban and scholarship loss, the Dispatch reports that the entire coaching staff could be suspended if OSU is found to be repeat offenders.

Ohio State is scheduled to appear before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions Aug. 12, and the final decision on what sanctions, if any, above Tressel’s five-game suspension and $250,000 fine will be levied will likely come down somewhere around the midpoint of the 2011 season.

Clemson transfer Scott Pagano progressing from foot surgery, but might miss Oregon’s opener

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There was good news and potentially not-so-good news on the Scott Pagano front Thursday for Oregon.

A transfer from Clemson this offseason, Pagano suffered a broken bone in his foot in the Tigers’ mid-November win over Pitt that forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season.  After moving on to the Ducks as a graduate transfer in mid-April, UO’s medical staff decided he needed to undergo surgery to repair the damage in his foot.

First-year head coach Willie Taggart Thursday declared the defensive lineman ahead of schedule in his recovery from the medical procedure, but didn’t guarantee he’d be on the field for the 2017 opener.

“Something he had that he needed to be corrected,” Taggart said of the surgery according to oregonlive.com. “He’s ahead of schedule right now. I don’t like putting certain weeks on guys because everybody heals differently.

“He’s one of those kids that has been rehabbing his tail off and is itching to get back out there. He’s ahead of schedule right now. Hopefully he’s there for the Southern Utah game.”

Coming out of high school in Hawaii as a four-star 2013 recruit, Pagano was rated as the No. 24 tackle in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state. He started 13 games the past two seasons, four of which came in 2016.

Before opting for UO, Pagano had taken an official visit to Oklahoma as he had whittled his to-do list down to those two. Arkansas, Notre Dame and Texas were also among the lineman’s five allotted official visits in his second round of collegiate recruiting.

CB Ryan Mayes no longer part of Miami football team

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There’s been a slight tweak to Miami’s defensive secondary ahead of the start of summer camp.

In a press release that consisted all of two sentences, the Hurricanes announced that Ryan Mayes is no longer a member of Mark Richt’s football program.  No reason was given for the separation, nor is it known whether the move was voluntary or involuntary.

A three-star member of The U’s 2014 recruiting class, Mayes was rated as the No. 48 cornerback in the country and the No. 92 player at any position in the state of Florida.  He held offers from, among others, Boston College and Syracuse.

As a true freshman, Mayes played in three games, then saw action in just one game the following season as he took a redshirt.  In 2016, the defensive back played in 11 games, mainly on special teams.

Prior to his departure, the redshirt junior was expected to fill a reserve role in the Hurricanes’ secondary.

Kyle Whittingham confirms Darren Carrington is at Utah, not yet a Ute

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Former Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington‘s father confirmed his son of the same name was headed to Utah on Wednesday, and the head coach of the team in question has now double confirmed it.

But just because Carrington is at the University of Utah does not make him a Ute. Not yet.

Speaking at Pac-12 media days, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said Carrington is in school but has hurdles to clear to join the team.

“Not just yet. There’s a process that has to occur, some things that have to transpire and we’ve just got to wait for all that to kind of take place,” Whittingham said, via Deseret News.

It’s not sure what “things” have to transpire and when that is expected to happen; Whittingham couldn’t be sure Carrington would be with the team when camp opens Friday.

“Right now I don’t have a good answer because everything’s being sorted through right now,” Whittingham said.

Carrington will be immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer. He caught 43 passes for a team-leading 606 yards and six touchdowns last season. Utah’s leading returning receiver, junior Raelon Singleton, nabbed 27 passes for 464 yards and four scores a year ago.

Clay Helton: O.J. not welcome back at USC

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OJ Simpson is one of the greatest Trojans of all-time. A unanimous two-time All-American, Simpson won the 1968 Heisman Trophy and was a member of USC’s 1967 national championship team.

OJ Simpson will also soon be a free man.

Granted parole from his felony armed robbery conviction last week, Simpson will be free on Oct. 1. The question, then, if you’re a reporter at Pac-12 media days is whether or not USC will welcome back one of its most accomplished — if not favorite — sons.

The answer? Uh, no.

To be clear, Simpson has not indicated he wanted to be part of USC football again. The 70-year-old indicated to the parole board he would return to Florida if granted his freedom.

USC has distanced itself from Simpson ever since his 1994 double-murder trial, but his Heisman Trophy remains on display at Heritage Hall.