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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.

Baylor, Art Briles mutually agree to an official divorce, acknowledge ‘serious shortcomings’ in response to sexual assaults

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears looks on as the Bears take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second half at McLane Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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After some dotting of some i’s and crossing some t’s, and some closed-door legalese, Art Briles is officially a former head football coach.

In a press release Friday, Baylor announced that it and Briles “have mutually agreed to terminate their employment relationship.”  In the release, the university mentions “[b]oth parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes.”  The public acknowledgement of “serious shortcomings” in responding to claims of sexual assault will likely be of import to the lawyers involved in at least three lawsuits filed against the university and/or Briles that allege “deliberate indifference” in their collective response to claims of sexual assault.

Briles’ termination is effective immediately, but was essentially effective nearly a month ago when Briles was suspended “with intent to terminate” in the wake of the sexual assault scandal that’s rocked the university in Waco.

As Baylor is a private institution, the financial terms of the separation haven’t been divulged.  Briles had eight years and nearly $40 million remaining on his contract at the time of his initial “suspension.”

The official separation also comes a week after Briles reportedly reached a contract settlement with the university.

Below is the full and complete release from Baylor on this development.

WACO, Texas (June 24, 2016) – Baylor University and Art Briles have mutually agreed to terminate their employment relationship, effective immediately. Both parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes, including deficiencies in University processes and the delegation of disciplinary responsibilities with the football program. Baylor is addressing these shortcomings and making ongoing improvements.

Baylor wishes Coach Briles well in his future endeavors. Coach Briles expresses his thanks to the City of Waco and wishes the Baylor Bears success in the future.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Pair of reserve O-linemen reportedly leaving Vols

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Tennessee has become the latest FBS program to see players leave in search of greener playing-time grass, with a pair of offensive linemen reportedly set to make their exits from Knoxville.

According to a pair of tweets from UT radio network sideline reporter John Brice, Vols linemen Dontavius Blair (pictured) and Ray Raulerson have decided to leave Butch Jones‘ football program.  According to 247Sports.com‘s Wes Rucker, “multiple program sources have indicated in the past week to GoVols247 that Blair and Raulerson were indeed looking to leave the program in hopes of having better chances to play.”

Both are expected to transfer to FCS programs to either continue their playing careers or, in the case of Blair, finish it.

Blair played in nine games last season, Blair in five. Neither player started a contest as a Vol.

When it came to the 2016 season, neither player was expected to be a significant part of any line rotation.

Ex-Florida DB J.C. Jackson won’t head to South Carolina after all

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 29: A football helmet on the field for the South Carolina Gamecocks against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.    (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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It appears Will Muschamp‘s Columbia reunion with one of his former Florida players won’t come to fruition as first thought.

Last months, reports surfaced that J.C. Jackson could be headed to South Carolina to join Muschamp’s first-year Gamecocks football program.  However, 247Sports.com is now reporting that Jackson will not enroll at USC.

“Sources indicate Jackson is not eligible to transfer to the Gamecocks in a ruling that’s beyond South Carolina’s control,” the site wrote.

Instead, sources indicated to the recruiting website that Jackson will likely end up at Maryland.  The Terps’ first-year coach, D.J. Durkin, was Muschamp’s defensive coordinator with the Gators when Jackson was a defensive back with the team.

Facing three felony charges in connection to an armed home invasion robbery, Jackson “transferred” from UF in May of last year.  He was ultimately acquitted on all of those charges, and is currently enrolled at a California junior college.

A four-star member of the Gators’ 2014 recruiting class, Jackson was rated as the No. 21 corner in the country; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 243 recruit overall by Rivals.com.  He played in the 2014 opener, but missed the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.  Exiting the spring, Jackson was expected to take a starting job into summer camp in 2015 prior to the legal issues arising.

If Jackson lands at Maryland, or any other FBS program for that matter, he would be eligible to play immediately in 2016.  The redshirt sophomore would then have three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

Carson Lydon expected to leave Virginia Tech, transfer elsewhere

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a college football player has decided to leave his original home and look elsewhere.

The latest to be hit with attrition via a transfer is Virginia Tech, with the Hokies confirming speculation that Carson Lydon is no longer with the team and intends to transfer to an undetermined location.  No reason was given for the linebacker parting ways with the program.

Should Lydon decide to move on to another FBS program, he’d likely have to sit out the 2016 season, leaving him with three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the following season.

Lydon was a three-star member of the Hokies’ 2015 recruiting class coming out of high school in Florida.  In addition to Tech, Lydon held offers from, among others, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, North Carolina State, Rutgers and Syracuse.

As a true freshman last season, Lydon played in 11 games.