As LSU continues its inexorable march to a Jan. 9 date in New Orleans, the Tigers have reportedly found themselves in a similar position to where they began the 2011 season: dealing with off-field issues.
Speculation has surfaced that quarterback Jarrett Lee and unnamed other football players may be declared academically ineligible for the postseason. In his own unique way, Les Miles addressed the rumors without actually addressing them.
“This time of year everybody responds and comes back,” the head coach said. “It’s time to pick it up. There’s no difference with our football team. Academic issues are private in my mind.”
(Writer’s note: wait… what?)
Of course, there are several key questions for which there are no answers, at least at the moment. Chief among those is, if the speculation is based in reality, what other players besides Lee are in jeopardy of missing the postseason and how many of them are there? Additionally, does “the postseason” in this case include both the SEC championship game this Saturday and the BcS title game in early January, or would it merely be the latter?
It’s unclear how soon any or all of those questions will be answered.
Lee started the first nine games at quarterback this season thanks to Jordan Jefferson’s August legal issues. Jefferson has started the past three games and Lee has seen his role greatly reduced; he’s had just five pass attempts in the games Jefferson’s started.
UPDATED 2:52 p.m. ET: LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has issued a statement regarding the speculation that surfaced earlier today.
“Despite media and message board speculation, no LSU student-athletes have been declared ineligible for post-season competition. The current semester is not complete and finals are still ahead, so it is grossly unfair to our student-athletes and it is both premature and irresponsible to speculate on the final grades and postseason eligibility of our student-athletes.”
Turner Smiley, UNT’s leading returning WR, arrested for DWI
For the third consecutive day, it’s time to hit the reset button on the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.
The latest to trigger a move back to double zeroes is North Texas’ Turner Smiley, with the Denton Police Department’s website showing that the wide receiver has been charged with driving while intoxicated. The arrest took place shortly before 4 a.m. CST Wednesday.
No details of what led up to the arrest and charge are available.
A UNT spokesman first confirmed that the football program is aware of the development, and later a statement attributed to head coach Seth Littrell was released.
We are aware of the situation regarding Turner Smiley from earlier this morning and we are still in the process of collecting all the facts. Until I have an opportunity to talk with him I will refrain from further comment. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes and we take situations like this very seriously. We will take an immediate and appropriate course of action after I speak with him.
Last season, Smiley was third on the team in receptions (25) and receiving yards (255). He’s the leading returning receiver on the Mean Green, and the only player on the roster with more than 17 receptions last season.
Iowa State TE survives being hit by car, albeit with 103 stitches
The college football world was rocked by tragedy over the weekend, and it appears another football program narrowly averted its own heartbreak as well.
Thursday evening, the Springfield News-Leader reports, Chase Allen was hit by a vehicle outside of the Iowa State practice facility. Allen managed to jump just prior to impact, although he landed on the car’s windshield, shattering it.
From the News-Leader:
Allen said he had a large amount of broken glass in his back, but managed to avoid hitting his head or suffering any bone injuries.
Allen popped up and was taken to an emergency room by some of his Iowa State coaches.
Allen took 103 stitches on his back after being cut by shattered windshield glass.
“The coaches were there with me in the E.R., and I’ll be cleared when the stitches heal up. (It) could have been so much worse,” Allen said.
According to an ISU official, the tight end should be at least cleared in part for the start of summer camp early next month. It’s likely Allen will be held out of full contact, at least for the early portion of camp.
Allen came to Ames this summer after signing with the Cyclones this past February as a three-star recruit. He was rated as the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Missouri and the No. 26 tight end in the country. In 247Sports.com rankings, only one 2016 signee ranked higher than Allen — offensive tackle Sean Foster.
Cal to give away bobblehead of Marshawn Lynch celebrating on injury cart
In 2006, Marshawn Lynch continued creating the legend that would ultimately morph into “Beast Mode” when, following an overtime win over Washington in which his 22-yard touchdown run proved to be the game-winner, the then-Cal running back decided the best way to commemorate the victory was by commandeering an injury cart and driving it around the Memorial Stadium turf. Lynch’s “Ghost Ride the Whip” became legendary in the Bay Area…
… and now it’s being commemorated by the Golden Bears in bobblehead form:
Car accidents have been a sad theme in college football this past week, and, unfortunately, it has continued. Fortunately, though, this latest one didn’t involve a fatality.
According to a tweet from Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, the high school coach of Texas’ Roderick Bernard confirmed that his former player was injured in a car accident earlier this month. As a result, the coach expects Bernard to miss the entire 2016 season.
There were no details as to the nature of the injuries sustained by Bernard, nor has UT addressed the player’s status moving forward.
Roderick Bernard’s HS coach confirms reports that Texas WR was injured in car crash earlier this month. He’s now likely out for 2016.
As a true freshman in 2014, Bernard served as the Longhorns’ primary kick returner before sustaining a knee injury (torn ACL)) in the fifth game that ended his season prematurely. He returned for the 2015 season after missing spring practice rehabbing the knee and played in 10 games, primarily on special teams.
This past spring, hBernard, a three-star 2014 signee, moved from wide receiver to running back.