Neinas to start rebuilding Big 12 in October

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Well, try to, anyway.

And seeing as certain members of the Big 12 can’t even seem to agree on exactly what they discussed yesterday in their road-to-stability teleconference — foreshadow alert!Chuck Neinas is going to have his work cut out for him.

Good thing he’s taking a temporary approach to the whole situation; six years of equal revenue sharing (well, maybe) doesn’t entirely signal commitment.

“I am not a candidate in any way, shape or form on a permanent basis,” Neinas, who starts officially on Oct. 3, said during a press conference today. “If they’ve hired me to be the commissioner, I’ll act like the commissioner.

“They can always fire me.”

Yes. Yes, they can.

But Neinas’ press conference wasn’t a eulogy. After spending many years as a consultant to conference commissioners — he will continue to work on a job with the Mountain West and Conference USA through the rest of the year– Neinas brings a similar philosophy to what is easily the “Jersey Shore” of college football conferences (the Big East is “16 and Pregnant”).

That requires getting to know your client.

The former Big 8 commissioner said he plans on meeting with Big 12 AD’s next week in Dallas followed by a tour of all the campuses. Yes, that includes Texas A&M.

And then being brutally honest about what you see and what you recommend.

In other words, not this.

“I think the Aggies are probably going to go and Missouri is going to stay,” said Neinas, but added “You have to be concerned about [Missouri leaving].”

Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton is the chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors, which would certainly put Mizzou in an awkward spot were they to try and bolt for the SEC. Rumors have swirled that back channel discussions have taken place between the two sides, although the SEC has denied any such involvement.

Regardless of what the SEC says, though, Mizzou looks to be non-committal about their future in the Big 12. And who could blame them?

Three programs leave, or prepare to leave, in two years; a pair of eleventh hour saves.

I’d be out for sure.

That’s where Neinas needs to work his magic. If the Big 12 stays together, it looks as though it will be as 10 members who share their revenue equally. The keyword, of course, is “if”.

Interim might be just long enough for Neinas.

Second Vols player this week could be on his way out

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Attrition is hitting Tennessee’s depth on the defensive side of the ball this early on in the spring.

Tuesday, reports surfaced that safety Stephen Griffin had decided to transfer out of Butch Jones’ Volunteers football program.  Two days later, it appears one of Griffin’s former teammates, linebacker Gavin Bryant, is headed toward a similar departure.

The football program has not addressed Bryant’s with the Vols moving forward.

A four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Bryant (pictured, taking a knee to the helmet) was rated as the No. 10 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama. After redshirting as a true freshman, Bryant played in 21 games the past two seasons as a reserve linebacker.

Griffin, meanwhile, was a three-star 2015 prospect who played in 10 games last season. He started one of those contests.

D-II head coach to reportedly take RBs coach job at Syracuse

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It appears Dino Babers is on the verge of, once again, completing his Syracuse coaching staff.

FootballScoop.com is reporting that reporting that Justin Lustig (pictured, left) is leaving his job as the head coach at Div. II Edinboro (Pa.) College to take over as running backs coach at Syracuse.  Additionally, Lustig will serve as special teams coordinator for the Orange.

This will mark Lustig’s first job at a Power Five program.

Lustig replaces Mike Hart, who left earlier this month to take the running backs coach job at Indiana.  Tom Kaufman, who oversaw Syracuse’s special teams as well as coached linebackers, took the defensive coordinator job at an FCS program two weeks ago.

Hired in January of last year, Lustig took over an Edinboro team that finished 0-11 in 2015 and turned them into a 9-2 squad one year later.  For that turnaround, he was named the Div. II Coach of the Year.

Lustig’s last job at the FBS level came at Ball State, where he served as running backs coach/special teams coordinator from 2011-15.  He also earned the title of assistant head coach prior to the start of the 2015 season.

Former Baylor TE Tre’Von Armstead arrested in connection to 2013 sexual assault

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The cloud habitually hovering over the Baylor football program continues to get darker.  And more ominous.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, “[f]ormer Baylor football player Tre'Von Armstead was arrested Wednesday… on three second-degree felony sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged 2013 sexual assault while he was a member of the Baylor football team.” While the alleged rape occurred in mid-April of 2013, the case was suspended by the Waco Police Department, ESPN.com writes, “after the alleged victim chose not to pursue charges against Armstead and former Bears running back Myke Chatman, who she accused of sexually assaulting her at her apartment.”

The victim in that alleged assault, a former “Baylor Bruin” recruiting hostess for the football program, filed a lawsuit in late January of this year in which it’s alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape over a four-year period starting in 2011.  It was further alleged in the lawsuit that BU assistant football coaches, including current Florida Atlantic assistant Kendal Briles, contributed to what was described as a “culture of sexual violence” around the football program.

“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players,” Briles, the son of disgraced former BU head coach Art Briles, told one recruit according to that lawsuit, one of many the university is currently facing as a result of the sexual-assault scandal.

Despite the 2013 allegations of Armstead being involved in a sexual assault, he remained with the football program until his dismissal in September of 2015.  A little over a week ago, Armstead was arrested on multiple charges in Las Vegas after he allegedly physically assaulted a woman.

Louisville clarifies titles for revamped defensive coaching staff

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The offseason shuffling of Bobby Petrino‘s defensive coaching staff appears to be complete.

Thanks to Todd Grantham‘s move to Mississippi State earlier this offseason, Petrino was forced to overhaul his staff on that side of the ball.  Peter Sirmon, who Grantham replaced at MSU, was hired by the U of L as defensive coordinator in mid-January.

As the Cardinals kicked off spring practice this week, the football program detailed the responsibilities for the defensive side of the staff.

New defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon announced on Wednesday that he has finalized position changes on his defensive staff. Sirmon will mentor the defense, but will also coach the outside linebackers. Lorenzo Ward will coach the secondary, while Cort Dennison will now mentor the inside linebackers. L.D. Scott will stick with coaching the defensive line.

Last season under Grantham, the Cardinals were 31st nationally and sixth in the ACC in scoring defense (23.8 points per game).  They were 14th and third, respectively, in total defense (319.6 yards per game).