Report: Big East to invite Boise State, five others

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Late last night, Ben noted a report which stated Big East officials were set to hold a teleconference Friday, with the primary objective being the conference’s presidents and chancellors voting on an increase in exit fees from the current $5 million to somewhere north of $10 million.

Should that transpire, the path would reportedly be cleared for the conference to move on to the next phase of keeping the league alive: doubling its current membership.

According to the New York Post, and citing unnamed sources, the Big East will issue invitations to Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF — those first three institutions would join as football-only members — once the exit fees are increased.  The Post reports those invitations could be made as early as this weekend.

The Big East had previously announced it had authorized conference officials to expand membership to an even dozen schools.

The final two spots, the Post reports, would come down to Temple, SMU and Houston.  From the paper:

Sources told The Post that Villanova expressed strong objection to sharing the Philadelphia market with Temple. Philadelphia, however, is home to Comcast, which logically favors more Philadelphia-based institutions. It’s possible the Owls could receive a football-only invitation.

If the Temple issue can’t be resolved, the league will move on Houston and SMU. Some factions in the conference don’t favor inviting both Texas schools, although with Boise State and Air Force aboard, it would make sense to have other programs west of the Mississippi.

Boise State has been connected to the Big East for the past couple of weeks, although a report surfaced yesterday that both the school and the conference had serious reservations about a hook-up.  Based on the Post‘s report, it appears at least one of the two sides have worked their way through whatever reservations it may have had.  It remains unclear how BSU would respond if issued an official invitation, although their decision would likely boil down to one factor: whether or not the Big East would maintain their automatic BcS bid beyond the current cycle that ends in 2013.

While some media outlets have referenced a two-year waiver that would carry the Big East’s automatic BcS bid through 2015, that’s far from guaranteed.  The addition of Boise State, however, could go a long way toward retaining the coveted and financially lucrative postseason slot.

Auburn, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech are Cal transfer’s final three

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We don’t yet know to where Aaron Cochran will transfer, but the potential landing spots have been narrowed.

Jake Trotter of ESPN.com revealed on Twitter that the Cal transfer has whittled his to-do list down to three: Auburn, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.  The offensive lineman is already known to have taken an official visit to the Cowboys nearly three weeks ago.

Per Trotter, he’ll visit The Plains this weekend, then Lubbock two weeks later.

In early February, Cochran announced that he would be transferring from Cal. As he is leaving Berkeley as a graduate transfer — he’s expected to graduate this spring — the lineman would have instant eligibility at another FBS school.

Cochran started 16 of the 28 games in which he played during his Cal career. 10 of those starts came this past season.

And, regardless of where he lands, his new school will be getting a very large human being.

For what it’s worth, Cochran is listed at 6-8, 350 pound on his official Cal bio page.

Second ex-Baylor football player arrested for 2013 gang rape

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For the second time in as many days, a former Baylor football player has been arrested for his connection to an alleged gang rape in 2013., according to The Dallas Morning NewsMyke Chatman, a former Baylor running back, was arrested Thursday by U.S. Marshals for suspected gang rape of a female Baylor student one day after former Baylor teammate Tre'Von Armstead was arrested and charged for the same incident.

Chatman and Armstead had previously been suspected of rape in 2013 but no charges were dropped at the time after the alleged victim chose not to pursue legal action against the football players. The woman filed charges against Baylor University in January and has since reached a settlement with the university. However, information from the lawsuit led to more information being revealed and shared with the authorities to contribute to ongoing investigations since these issues have been brought back to life in recent years.

Armstead was arrested for the second time this month, with the most recent arrest related to this 2013 incident. Earlier in March, Armstead was arrested for domestic battery, resisting arrest and damaging a police vehicle.

Report: LSU DL Isaiah Washington ruled ineliegible for spring

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Sophomore defensive end Isaiah Washington has been ruled ineligible for the spring practice season at LSU, according to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate.

Washington was a four-star recruit in LSU’s Class of 2015. The New Orleans native appeared in six games for the Tigers as a freshman. Washington did not play in the 2016 season due to a knee injury suffered in the summer. He was slated to be a backup linebacker and defensive end in 2016 prior to the injury. It is expected to be a backup option for LSU’s defensive line with all four starters back this season.

Ex-Baylor player Sam Ukwuachu has sexual assault conviction overturned by appeals court

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Former Baylor and Boise State football player Sam Ukwuachu has had his conviction for sexual assault overturned, but he is far from free just yet. The 10th Couth of Appeals in Texas overturned a sexual assault conviction on Thursday and is sending the case back to district court for a brand new trial.

The Court of Appeals determined phone evidence used by the prosecution was improperly used and attained.

“In six issues, Ukwuachu complains that the trial court erred by allowing the State to reference the cell phone records of his roommate during its cross-examination of his roommate and his roommate’s friend, that the indictment was defective, that evidence of an extraneous offense was improperly admitted, that his due process rights were violated due to an abuse of the grand jury process by the State, and that text messages between the victim and a friend of hers the night of the alleged offense were improperly excluded,” an elaborate ruling from the Court of Appeals explained. “Because we find that the trial court erred by disallowing the admission of evidence … we reverse the judgment of conviction and remand this proceeding for a new trial.”

“While I respect the 10th Court of Appeals, I disagree with their decision and reasoning in this case,” McLennan County District Attorney Abelk Reyna said upon learning of the appeal decision. “I am extremely confident in the decisions made by our prosecutors and the rulings made by Judge Johnson in the trial of this case.”

Ukwuachu transferred from Boise State to Baylor after being dismissed by the Broncos program in 2013, reportedly following a case of depression in Boise. Boise State denied any knowledge of Ukwuachu’s violence toward women when he was with the program, which was prompted by comments from former Baylor head coach Art Briles. Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen did claim to have informed Briles of Ukwuachu’s violent past.

Ukwuachu was found guilty and sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation for rape in August 2015.

The alleged victim of Ukwuachu has already settled a lawsuit with Baylor.