BMV probe finds no wrongdoing in vehicle purchases by OSU players

72 Comments

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.

Edgerrin James’ nephew to transfer from Miami

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last season, Jeff James was one of seven players  suspended for Miami’s Russell Athletic Bowl game against West Virginia.  Nearly four months later, he’s gone.

In a press release, Miami announced that the defensive back “is no longer a member of the football program.” No reason was given for the nephew of former Hurricane great Edgerrin James deciding to leave The U.

“I talked to Jeff and we both felt it was in his best interests to get a fresh start somewhere else,” head coach Mark Richt said in a statement released by the school. “We wish him all the best in his future plans.”

James was a three-star member of UM’s 2016 recruiting class.  247Sports.com had the Orlando high school product rated as the No. 112 safety in the country and the No. 1,678 player in its composite rankings.

The defensive back played in one game as a true freshman, the season-opening win over FCS Florida A&M.

Georgia ‘parts ways’ with four-star 2017 signee accused of assaulting mother of his child

Getty Images
2 Comments

Not surprisingly, D’Antne Demery‘s time Between the Hedges was a brief one.

Earlier Sunday, reports surfaced that the 2017 Georgia signee had been arrested Saturday night in downtown Athens on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and simple battery.  The alleged victim, the mother of Demery’s one-year-old child, accused the recruit of assaulting her twice, the first time, after a verbal argument, by “grabbing her on the back of her neck… pushing her against the wall, and also grabbing her by the hair” and the second after allegedly throwing her.

Not surprisingly, UGA subsequently announced in a press release that Demery has been released from his signed National Letter of Intent. In other words, he has been summarily dismissed from Kirby Smart‘s football program.

Demery was a four-star 2017 recruit, rated as the No. 20 offensive tackle in the country; the No. 22 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 204 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Th 6-5, 319-pound lineman was one of 18 four-star players in Smart’s second recruiting class at the school.

After signing in February, Demery had been scheduled to report with the rest of the incoming freshmen in June.

Tom Herman pulls California QB recruit Cameron Rising away from Oklahoma

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tom Herman has made his share of news since his late November arrival in Austin, but Saturday evening was probably the first time his Big 12 and national rivals perked up and took notice of the new Texas head coach for something that will happen on the field of play.

The Longhorns landed a commitment from Newbury Park, Calif., quarterback Cameron Rising, which would be news in and of itself. The 6-foot-3 signal caller is rated the No. 3 pro-style quarterback and No. 52 player nationally by Rivals for the class of 2018, making him the highest-rated player in Texas’s 4-man class.

But Rising’s pledge is especially notable for where he was already committed: Oklahoma. Rising had been committed to Oklahoma since August and publicly firmed up his pledge as recently as January. “I’m extremely happy (with the decision),” Rising said at the time. “The program is so good, they’re moving in the right direction. They had a slow start but then they picked it up and it was like a warm nice through butter.”

Herman’s tweet brings up an interesting point: the quarterback Oklahoma is most likely to target to replace Rising is the other Texas quarterback pledge.

Casey Thompson, hailing from Moore, Okla., became the first Texas quarterback commitment just nine days before Rising. Beyond just living in the Sooner State, Thompson is also the son of a former Sooner and the brother of another.

In fact, Oklahoma waisted no time in reaching out to Thompson. “OU hit me up already,” Thompson told Burnt Orange Nation, but Thompson indicated Herman and company told him ahead of time Texas would sign two quarterbacks.

And in a note the Texas coaches have likely reminded Thompson of in the past 24 hours, they offered Thompson before Rising. “Me and the [Texas] coaches have a very good relationship. I knew they planned to take 2 from the jump. Their current QB room is thin!”

Oklahoma may very well retaliate to Herman’s plunder with a steal of their own. But the point is Herman has arrived in the Red River Recruiting Wars, and he’s playing to win.

LSU lands Randy Moss’s son as tight end transfer

Getty Images
2 Comments

They say these things happen in threes, so any program employing Warren Sapp‘s son better start preparing now. Days after Ray Lewis‘s son announced a transferRandy Moss‘s has done the same.

Thaddeus Moss announced his intention to leave NC State for LSU on Sunday, doing so in a post on his Twitter account.

Moss was recruited to NC State by then-Wolfpack offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Canada tried to get Moss to decommit and follow him to Pittsburgh, but that initial refusal worked out for the pair in the end.

“He had gotten fired and I had already gotten my mind made up,” Moss told The Advocate. “He had messaged me and was telling me stuff about Pitt and this stuff. It was all of this stuff. I don’t even think I messaged him back.

“That was actually the very first thing he said when he saw me. ‘Hey, you remember when I messaged you?’ It worked out for the better good.”

Ranked the No. 6 tight end in the class of 2016 by Rivals, Moss started three games last fall for NC State. He caught six passes for 49 yards and a touchdown.

As an undergraduate transfer, Moss will have to sit out the 2017 season before having three seasons to compete for the Tigers.