The depth behind Ohio State running backs Carlos Hyde and Boom Herron just got a little thinner (again) for this weekend’s game against Indiana.
Earlier this week, rarely-used back Jaamal Berry was on the receiving end of an indefinite suspension following two misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct. Now, the Buckeyes will be down another running back because of injuries. Luke Fickell said today that Jordan Hall was doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the Hoosiers as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.
“Jordan is probably doubtful,” Fickell said. “I don’t think Jordan is going to make it. He hasn’t quite turned the corner with his ankle.”
Herron is set to start with Hyde, who did not play in last week’s win over Wisconsin, as the backup.
Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller has already turned into the team’s second-leading rusher with 342 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.
When Hugh Freeze was fired last month by Ole Miss, most thought that the troubling patterns the school discovered were mostly focused on the coach’s calls to what were later revealed to be escort services. As it turns out, that may not be the extent of the cell phone records that landed the coach in hot water.
USA Today dug a little deeper in Freeze’s phone calls and discovered that he had at least 200 conversations with Lee Harris, a now-disassociated booster at the school who is a central figure in the ongoing NCAA case surrounding extra benefits for recruits and players. Per the report:
“The phone calls included the period in which Harris became a part of the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss and continued before and after his interview with the NCAA on Nov. 16, 2016, in which he provided information that was determined to be false.
Freeze was not named or deemed culpable in the specific NCAA allegation related to Harris, and it is not publicly known what the two men discussed in the calls. According to Freeze’s attorney, W.G. Watkins, Freeze and Harris met by “happenstance” sitting next to each other at church at some point after Harris’ alleged violations occurred, formed a relationship and played golf together. Watkins said Freeze never discussed the NCAA case with Harris, which would potentially be a violation of bylaw 10.1 relating to unethical conduct.”
Harris was one of several boosters included in the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations against the Rebels and was alleged by enforcement staffers to have provided free food and cash to linebacker Leo Lewis when he was being recruited by Ole Miss. Lewis eventually signed with in-state rival Mississippi State and later provided information to investigators as part of the case.
Though the phone calls are hardly a smoking gun for either Freeze or the school, the sheer volume of calls between the head coach and a booster who is alleged to have committed NCAA violations certainly raises a big eyebrow in Indianapolis and around the rest of the SEC. The fact that the calls took place on the coach’s cell phone also raises the question as to just how closely school compliance staff was monitoring their coach and whether he attempted to influence the investigation in any way by speaking about it with Harris.
Such points are bound to come up and need clear answers when Ole Miss goes in front of the NCAA Committee on Infractions for a hearing scheduled for Sept. 11th.
A third former Vanderbilt football player will spend a sizable portion of his adult life behind bars.
In June of this year, Brandon Banks was found guilty on one count each of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery related to a 2013 gang rape of an unconscious woman. Friday, Banks was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In July of last year, one of Banks’ former teammates, Cory Batey, was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of aggravated rape. Four months later, another former Vandy football player, Brandon Vandenburg, was sentenced to 17 years after being found guilty of the same charge as Batey. The judge gave Vandenburg a longer sentence than Batey because the former was the leader in the attack and betrayed the woman’s trust.
Banks, Vandenburg, Batey and another ex-Vandy football player, Jaborian ‘Tip’ McKenzie, were initially charged Aug. 9, 2013, with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery each after a police investigation determined that the four had raped an unconscious woman.
On June 28 of 2013, Vanderbilt announced that four unnamed players had been indefinitely suspended amid reports that the players were connected to an alleged sex crimes case. The next day, Vandy officials further clarified the players’ statuses, releasing a statement announcing the dismissals of the four. That release further added that none of the four will be permitted to return to campus without permission from the office of student conduct and academic integrity.
McKenzie has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. He has agreed to testify against his former teammates in exchange for what he hopes is a lighter sentence.
I believe this one would qualify as a significant development.
In a very brief press release, Georgia Tech announced Friday afternoon that Dedrick Mills has been dismissed by Paul Johnson from the football team. The only reason given was an unspecified violation of Tech athletics department rules.
The head coach is expected to meet with the media following practice later on this afternoon.
Regardless of the specific reason for the dismissal, Mills’ departure serves as yet another blow for the run-heavy Yellow Jackets.
Last season, Mills’ 771 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns led all Tech ball carriers. 169 of those yards came in the bowl win over Kentucky. Mills put up all of those numbers as a true freshman despite being suspended on two different occasions for a total of three games.
Mills’ dismissal is the second huge blow to their 2017 running game as Marcus Marshall, who was second on the team last season with 624 yards, announced in late November that he would be transferring from Tech. Less than a month later, he moved on to James Madison.
With those twin departures, Clinton Lynch‘s 415 yards last season makes him the team’s leading returning rusher.
As you may know, I’m hardly a fan of the alternate uniform craze. These, though, I can very easily get behind.
Notre Dame on Friday released images of new uniforms the Fighting Irish will wear for their Nov. 18 game against Navy. From helmet to shoes, the new duds will serve as a head-to-toe tribute to the legendary Knute Rockne.
The players will all have the name “ROCKNE” emblazoned on the backs of their jerseys, while the helmets replicate the leather ones of Rockne’s era. The cleats also will pay homage to the era in which Rockne, also a former player at the school, coached the Fighting Irish to five national championships from 1918-1930. In those 13 seasons, the Irish lost just 12 games under Rockne.
Additionally, the sleeves will be adorned with the words from one of Rockne’s most famous speeches.