BMV probe finds no wrongdoing in vehicle purchases by OSU players

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After months and months of negativity, the beleaguered Ohio State football program is finally on the receiving end of some good news Tuesday morning.  Probably.

According to the Associated Press, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has determined that the purchases of dozens vehicles at a pair of Columbus dealerships by football players and family members were on the up and up.  The investigation conducted by the BMV found that the purchases, the AP writes, accurately reflected the vehicles’ sales prices.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the 65-page report issued by the BMV concluded that the dealerships turned a profit on 24 of the 25 vehicle purchases the bureau investigated.  The report, the Dispatch states, did not examine whether the prices that OSU players paid involved discounts not available to the general public.

The BMV launched its probe into the “situation” on the heels of reports that at least 50 OSU players/family members had possibly received deals because of their status as athletes, which would violate NCAA bylaws.

OSU’s head of NCAA compliance, Doug Archie, said at the time that the reports first surfaced this past March  he has seen “nothing to believe a violation has occurred.”  Based on the results of the BMV’s investigation, that appears to be the case.

“Today’s report from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles supports the sworn statements two Columbus auto dealers provided us that the manner in which they conducted sales with Ohio State student athletes adhered to university and NCAA rules,” Archie said in a statement released today.

What this doesn’t mean, however, is that the Buckeyes are out of the NCAA woods entirely.  An investigation is still ongoing into the upwards of eight vehicles former quarterback Terrelle Pryor drove during his time in Columbus, including a couple/few loaner vehicles from the dealerships in question.  Additionally, there have been subsequent reports that members of the football program, including current ones, may have been on the receiving end of impermissible benefits outside of vehicles.

And then there’s the possibility that the NCAA could also determine during the course of their own investigation that the players/family received deals not available to the general public, despite the BMV’s overwhelmingly positive report.

But, still, and at least for now, the members of the OSU athletic/compliance can breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Until the next revelation surfaces.  Or the Aug. 12 hearing in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.  Whichever comes first.

Miami wideout Ahmmon Richards sits out Hurricanes’ scrimmage with pulled hamstring

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The focus in Miami’s preseason camp has been on the budding battle to be the starting quarterback but Mark Richt might have bigger concerns after an injury to another star offensive player.

The Hurricanes head coach confirmed to reporters on Saturday that receiver Ahmmon Richards missed the practice after he pulled his hamstring earlier in the week. Safe to say that’s not the kind of injury you want a burner like that to suffer right before the season starts.

The Palm Beach Post reports that senior Braxton Berrios stepped up in Richards’ absence during the scrimmage with six catches for 107 yards but things figure to be a little different against real opposing defenses this fall if his running mate can’t go full blast down the field like he potentially could.

Richards averaged 19 yards a catch last season and racked up nearly 1,000 yards through the air as a true freshman. He was expected to play a pivotal role in an offense that is breaking in a new signal-caller but, given the tricky nature of hamstring pulls and wide receivers, it could be a few weeks into the year before he trots out onto the field for the ‘Canes.

FAU-bound John Franklin III says he wasn’t having fun at Auburn

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John Franklin III has had a ton written about him for a player going on his fourth program in five years but here’s a little more.

The quarterback-turned-wide receiver recently gave an interview to Matthew DeFranks of the Florida Sun Sentinel on his decision to transfer to Florida Atlantic for his senior season and seemed to lob a subtle shot at his former coaching staff at Auburn while doing so.

The not “having too much fun” line will probably draw most of the attention but don’t discount the issue Franklin has with playing every snap. While he arrived on the Plains as a signal-caller, he gave way to Sean White as the starter last year and was moved all over the field in a variety of packages. This spring he changed positions to wide receiver full time as a result but decided to transfer before catching passes for the Tigers.

The former ‘Last Chance U’ star will now head to Boca to play for former coach Clint Trickett with the Owls. It’s not super clear what exact role he will have in the offense but hopefully for Franklin he can have a little more “fun” this season along the way.

Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough misses practice for second time

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A running back is on the loose in Tuscaloosa and no, that’s not as good as it sounds for the Crimson Tide.

Beat reporter Alex Byington noted on Saturday that star tailback Bo Scarbrough was noticeably absent from Alabama’s practice on Saturday when it came time for media viewing periods, the second straight time that he’s been out of sight on the field.

The Tuscaloosa News followed up on the matter and reports that Scarbrough’s attendance (or lack thereof) was “nothing serious” and Nick Saban confirmed as much later in the afternoon by saying the running back was sick with an illness that kept him out.

Sophomore Josh Jacobs also missed the viewing period on Saturday.

Scarbrough has had a light work load the past several months as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered in the national championship game. The presumed starter is still expected to be good to go for the season opener against Florida State but the absences at practice will at least make things interesting in the next two weeks at a crowded position on the depth chart.

Four-star DT Tyler Shelvin will redshirt at LSU after NCAA partially denies eligibility

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The state of Louisiana’s top recruit will not be playing for the state’s top football team this fall.

Four-star defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin will enroll at LSU next week, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, but will not be eligible to play in 2017 following a ruling from the NCAA on his status. The news is a big blow not only to Shelvin, but to the Tigers who are thin on the interior defensive line and were hoping to rotate in the 380-pounder this year.

Shelvin’s high school coach told the paper that the NCAA “partially denied” the defender’s eligibility, forcing him to redshirt in his first year on campus. He reportedly took several classes over the summer in order to meet requirements but apparently fell short of hitting the association’s standard to be cleared.

The loss of Shelvin’s services is a tough one after he turned into one of the center pieces of head coach Ed Orgeron’s top 10 recruiting class from February. The Tigers have had a history of talented defensive tackles running into eligibility issues in the past but the rather thin depth chart in the middle of the defensive line made bringing in Shelvin a priority.

That is not to be the case however, as LSU will move forward sans the big defender just two weeks out from the start of the season.