Cincinnati football announces 2012 signing class

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CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati head football coach Butch Jones announced 30 members of the 2011 recruiting class on Wednesday, Feb. 1, the beginning of the NCAA initial signing period for football.

In addition to the 28 signees, UC announced the addition of two preferred walk-ons.

“Today is a very exciting day in our football family as we officially welcome 30 individuals to UC,” Jones said. “There’s a lot that goes into a recruiting class and a lot of people here at the University of Cincinnati have done a great job in helping us attract what we feel is a class that fits the standards and expectations associated with the program.”

The signing class features 16 defensive players set to join UC. Defensive back (8), and linebacker (5) lead the way along with three defensive linemen. Of the 14 offensive players, four are running backs, four offensive linemen, three wide receivers, a pair of quarterbacks and a tight end.

“The class lends itself to filling many needs within our program,” Jones said. “We wanted to put an emphasis on team speed in general while addressing needs at defensive back and linebacker. We feel like we attracted a very high caliber of student-athlete in this class, which will continue to allow us to build a championship culture both on the field and in the classroom.”

UC added recruits from nine different states, including 11 student-athletes from the State of Ohio, 10 from within the Tri-State area and five products of Indianapolis. The Bearcats added commitments from California (1), Florida (6), Illinois (1), Michigan (1), Pennsylvania (1) and Tennessee (2).

“We are always going to take care of our home base here in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky,” Jones said. “From there we branched out into a 115-mile radius from our campus, to Indianapolis, through the state of Ohio and then we moved into other areas of the country, Cleveland, Detroit, Florida and Memphis.”

The recruiting pundits rank this UC class as the best ever. Scout.com slots the Bearcats at No. 29 and second the BIG EAST Conference rankings. This marks the first team UC has entered Scout’s Top-30 its best ever league ranking. Rivals.com ranks the UC class as No. 44 overall out of 120 FBS schools.

Nine student-athletes, Kevin Brown (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central), Deionte Buckley (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central), Jonathan Burt (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central), Errol Clarke (Miami, Fla,/Central), Bennie Coney (Plant City, Fla./Plant City), DeShawn Dowdy (Akron, Ohio/North), Marcus Foster (Troy, Ohio/Troy), Trenton Norvell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Seabreeze) and Josh Posley (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central), enrolled at UC in January and are participating in the Bearcats’ off-season workout program in preparation for spring football.

The Bearcats, 2011 BIG EAST and AutoZone Liberty Bowl Champions, begin spring football on March 1.

Victim of alleged WKU football attack plans to file charges

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A former Western Kentucky fraternity member says he was attacked by a group of Hilltoppers football players and plans to file charges.

Jerald Armfield, an alum of WKU’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, told WBKO-TV he was caught in an ongoing feud between the fraternity and the football team:

“I went to the house in the best interest of the fraternity and Western as a whole to prevent any type of violence from occurring. We got up there and realized they were all hiding behind garbage cans, trees, and buildings.”

“I never in my wildest dreams thought they would attack me in the manner that they did. They all started surrounding me. One of them threw a rock at me. It was within a few seconds that one of them punched me in the face.”

“I fell down. I was kicked several times. The whole time they were beating me, I was begging them to stop, telling them I wasn’t here the night before, I had nothing to to do with it, like please stop, please stop, and they didn’t.”

Armfield said between nine and 10 people ultimately attacked him; it isn’t known for sure how many of that group are on the football team, though the program’s involvement in the incident is being investigated.

“We are aware of the allegations involving a few members of our football team,” the program said in the statement when word of the altercation broke three weeks ago. “We are cooperating fully with the authorities. However, at this time, we have not received a police report and cannot provide further comment.”

While the status of the investigation is currently unknown, Armfield told WBKO he would like it to end with multiple charges. “I made it very clear that night when the police arrived on the scene that I wanted charges pressed,” he said. “As far as I know a detective from Bowling Green Police Department has it. As it stands right now, I still want charges pressed. They need to be held accountable for what they did not only as citizens but as students at Western.”

Baylor moves to dismiss lawsuit claiming 52 rapes over 3-year period

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Baylor has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming 31 football players committed 52 rapes over a 3-year period from 2011-14. The school is citing the expiration of the statute of limitations and that the allegations do not meet the level of “deliberate indifference,” according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

The suit was initially filed in late January who anonymously claimed she was raped by then-Bears football players Tre'Von Armstead and Shaymichael Chatman in 2013. Armstead and Chatman have both been indicted for that incident. Armstead was arrested earlier this month in Las Vegas in charges of resisting arrest in addition to the 2013 case.

Baylor also challenged the suit’s claim of a widespread culture of sexual violence, including claims the Baylor Bruins hostess program was encouraged to sleep with recruits in order to entice them to Baylor.

“Baylor does not agree with or concede the accuracy of plaintiff’s 146-paragraph complaint and its immaterial and inflammatory assertions,” the motion states.

Former offensive coordinator Kendal Briles told a recruit, according to the suit, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”

 

Mark Dantonio breaks silence to reveal additional player suspensions

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Mark Dantonio broke his silence Tuesday to talk about all the things he couldn’t talk about.

Speaking publicly for the first time since National Signing Day, Dantonio said more players have been suspended in addition to the three players and one staff member already suspended in connection with an ongoing sexual assault investigation. There are actually three investigations ongoing — a criminal probe, a Title IX investigation and an outside evaluation of the football program.

How many additional  players were suspended in conjunction with the investigations? Dantonio couldn’t say.

When were they suspended? Dantonio couldn’t say.

When were the original three players suspended? Dantonio couldn’t say.

How, one may wonder, has Michigan State managed to keep the suspended players’ identities secret despite spring practice now being a full month old? Easy: the Spartans have essentially shielded a black cloak around the entire program. The media hasn’t been allowed to watch practice. No depth charts or rosters have been released. No photos or videos have been produced. The content on @MSU_Football has vaguely referred to the ongoing spring practices by referencing the April 1 spring game, but all other tweets have centered around Michigan State’s involvement in the NFL Draft or the basketball Spartans’ NCAA Tournament berth. The program didn’t even comment on two players’ announced transfers throughout the offseason.

Dantonio even deemed it “trivial” to discuss Michigan State’s quarterback derby. The one piece of actual Spartans football news Dantonio revealed? Linebacker Drake Martinez, he of the one tackle in two appearances last season, has transferred.

Greg Sankey releases statement against Arkansas guns-at-sporting events law

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The state of Arkansas has passed a law that allows concealed-carry handguns on publicly-owned property, which would include college sporting events.

Since it was realized immediately upon the bill’s announcement what a terrible, horrendous idea allowing lubed-up sports fans to bring handguns with them to the game would be, the law was quickly amended to exclude college sporting events.

But on Tuesday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement arguing for Razorbacks events to be exempted from the law.

To date, Arkansas AD Jeff Long and head football coach Bret Bielema have yet to comment on the law, and Sankey’s statement today is likely coordinated with that — pushing the buck upwards while not crossing those in the Natural State that may be in favor of the bill.