Danny Sheridan

NCAA to talk to Sheridan over Cam Newton ‘bag man’ claims

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Even as this part of CFT is technically called “The Rumor Mill”, we have been doing our best to avoid touching on vague claims made by USA Today‘s Danny Sheridan regarding information he purportedly has on Auburn’s recruitment of Cam Newton.  Unfortunately, the NCAA now has an interest, which means we are interested as well.

For those who are unaware, and as a bit of background, Sheridan is, among other things, the odds setter for USA Today and a lifelong resident of Mobile, Alabama.  And an unabashed Crimson Tide supporter and alumnus.  Over the past couple of/few months, Sheridan has appeared on the nationally-syndicated Paul Finebaum radio show claiming he has inside information from an NCAA source on the name of the individual — the infamous “bag man” — who allegedly paid Newton’s father Cecil to ensure his son signed with Auburn.

During his last Finebaum appearance a week or so ago, and despite a buildup that led listeners to believe he would reveal the name of the Newton “bag man”, Sheridan refused to give the individual’s name out of fear that he would be sued.  Or some people’s lives would be ruined.  Or something.  While he won’t talk publicly about any specifics out of fear of reprisal, he’s now apparently ready to sing to The Association in private.

Both Sheridan and his attorney confirmed to the Birmingham News that the NCAA called on Monday and requested an audience to discuss any relevant information he has or doesn’t have.  Sheridan agreed to the request, and will talk with investigators this week.

“I let them know that if they wished to talk to me, I will talk to them on or off the record about subjects of mutual interest,” Sheridan told the News. “I have no idea if the allegations against Auburn are true. I only know that what I reported was exactly what I was told.”

As Gene Chizik is fully aware — “You’ll know when we’re finished, and we’re not finished!” — the NCAA’s investigation into the Auburn football program is still open and ongoing.  NCAA president Mark Emmert said as much Tuesday during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, stating in very Roe Lach-like fashion that “when they’re closed, they’re closed.”

It should be noted that, while Cecil Newton admitted to soliciting  payment — reportedly between $100,000 to $180,000 — from Mississippi State before his son signed with Auburn a short time later, there has been no proof that the father solicited money from AU let alone received a payment from some nefarious booster wrapped in bag man clothing.  While it wouldn’t take a Beamon-esque leap in logic to assume that if Cecil Newton attempted to pry money from MSU he did the same with AU, there’s simply no proof we’re aware of that he did.

Whether Sheridan can shed any new light on the situation remains to be seen.  I do know one thing: there are many an Auburn fan who hopes Sheridan is as full of it as many, many members of the national media feel he is.

Third 2016 Baylor signee set to move on to Texas

DALLAS - OCTOBER 11:  The Texas Longhorns band enters the field before a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on October 11, 2008 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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This past week, Texas confirmed four-star 2016 Baylor signee Devin Duvernay had joined Charlie Strong‘s football program, just a couple of days after BU announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent.  Shortly after that, another 2016 BU signee, offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez, revealed via Twitter that he too will be moving on to the Longhorns.

Now, another has migrated from Waco to Austin.

According to a report from ESPN.com, Donovan Duvernay has committed to play his college football for Texas.  This Duvernay is the twin brother of Devan Duvernay.

The wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Longhorns in 2016.

A three-star member of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class, Duvernay was rated as the No. 61 athlete in the country and the No. 113 player at any position in the state of Texas.

Texas the landing spot for second four-star 2016 Baylor signee

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 30:  Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo wears a harness in honor of head coach Mack Brown during the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Oregon Ducks at the Alamodome on December 30, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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In the end, Baylor’s loss will turn into Texas’ gain.  Again.

Just a couple of days after Baylor announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent, one of those prospects announced their new landing spot.  And, to add insult to injury, said landing spot is a fellow Big 12 member.

And the state’s flagship university for good measure.

Pictured with Texas head coach Charlie Strong, that would be offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez announcing that he will begin his collegiate playing career with the Longhorns. And the get for UT, at least when it comes to recruiting pedigree, is a huge one.

Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.

The lineman becomes the second 2016 Bears signee to join the Longhorns since the sexual assault scandal slammed headfirst into Waco. Late this past week, UT confirmed the addition of four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay.

Reportedly transferring from Vols, Ray Raulerson confirms he’s ‘exploring options’

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Thursday, reports surfaced that two Tennessee offensive linemen would be leaving the Volunteers football program and possibly transferring to the FCS level.  Friday, one of those two confirmed he’s looking into it.

Speaking to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Ray Raulerson acknowledged that he’s “exploring options right now,” although he stopped short of confirming a transfer.  However, the redshirt sophomore center talked of his time in Knoxville in the past tense, an indication that he is prepared to move on.

“I’m exploring options right now,” Raulerson told the News Sentinel. “…I really loved it at Tennessee, but I’m going to go to a place where I have a better chance to play.”

Raulerson was a three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class.  After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in five games in 2015.

It has yet to be confirmed that the other lineman, fifth-year senior tackle Dontavius Blair, is indeed transferring.  Raulerson, though, told the newspaper that his teammate is leaving as well.

Clemson tables proposal that would’ve had students paying for some football tickets

CLEMSON, SC - AUGUST 31: Clemson Tigers fans celebrate at the start of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Students at Clemson can rest easy; your football fix will still be free of charge this year.

In 2015, tickets for the student sections in both the lower bowl and upper bowl of Memorial Stadium came at no cost to those enrolled in classes at the university.  In April, however, athletic director Dan Radakovich proposed levying what was described as a “$225 student donation” for those wishing to sit in the lower bowl on season tickets, while the upper bowl seats would remain free.

Late this past week, tigernet.com reported, Radakovich’s proposal was tabled as the university will “continue to have good conversations with student leaders about the entire ticketing process.”

So, for the 2016 football season, tickets in both bowls will come at no cost to students.  As was the case last year, all of those tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

It wasn’t all good news financially for Clemson students — or their parents — as The State news paper writes that “[t]he university’s board of trustees voted almost unanimously via teleconference Thursday to raise tuition rates for the 2016-17 year for in-state and out-of-state students.”