Immediate eligibility for transfers under consideration by the NCAA

16 Comments

We’ve often decried the fact that, while coaches can leave a football program for another with very few ($$$) repercussions in the vast majority of cases, most players who decide to transfer must sit out a season.

Based on discussions currently being undertaken by the NCAA, that may change in the not-too-distant future.

According to Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News, allowing immediate eligibility for transfers in all sports is one of the concepts being discussed by an NCAA working group charged with reviewing ways to streamline current bylaws.  The move would be part of the NCAA’s initiative to shrink its rulebook “down to something sensible.”

Currently, football players have to satisfy what’s technically called a “residency requirement” that by and large requires the student-athlete to sit out one season when transferring to one school to another.  If the measure were to be adopted, and provided the move would not have a negative on the player’s graduation progress, the player would be eligible to play immediately.

Currently, only players who have either graduated or are granted hardship waivers due to family issues are eligible to play immediately upon transfer.

This concept is far from becoming a reality, however; the working group noted that current transfer limits could be included in any new bylaw.  It’s safe assume that coaches, who are largely as a group already bucking against the trend toward multi-year scholarships, would not be in favor of allowing it to become easier for a player to leave his program, especially if one-year renewable scholarships go the way of leather helmets and goalposts on the goal line.

If eliminating the residency requirement is in play, one stipulation needs to be in play as well: a player can transfer once and play immediately.  Anything beyond the initial transfer — with the exception perhaps of family issues and the need to get closer to home — the player should be required to sit out a year.

In addition to the transfer issue, the NCAA is looking to cut the fat off the bulky bylaws pertaining to recruiting.  The development in that arena that would most likely garner the most attention would be allowing coaches to address unsigned potential recruits.  Current bylaws state that schools are not permitted to specifically mention a player by name until a Letter of Intent is signed.

Banned so as not to give a school a perceived edge in landing a recruit, the News writes that “[t]he working group said technology and social media make such comments difficult to monitor and enforce, and it’s ‘arguable’ whether the publicity influences a recruit’s college decision.”  One idea being tossed around is a stipulation that would only allow coaches to comment publicly on a recruit only when he verbally commits to a program.

Other recruiting-related ideas under discussion include no annual certification on recruiting rules for coaching staffs; giving schools more freedom on what takes place during official visits while allowing earlier contact with potential recruits (June 15 following a player’s sophomore year in high school); and putting an end to the “Tiger Prowl” rule that restricts the number of off-campus recruiters for the perceived recruiting benefit.

Former Baylor TE Tre’Von Armstead arrested in connection to 2013 sexual assault

Getty Images
1 Comment

The cloud habitually hovering over the Baylor football program continues to get darker.  And more ominous.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, “[f]ormer Baylor football player Tre'Von Armstead was arrested Wednesday… on three second-degree felony sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged 2013 sexual assault while he was a member of the Baylor football team.” While the alleged rape occurred in mid-April of 2013, the case was suspended by the Waco Police Department, ESPN.com writes, “after the alleged victim chose not to pursue charges against Armstead and former Bears running back Myke Chatman, who she accused of sexually assaulting her at her apartment.”

The victim in that alleged assault, a former “Baylor Bruin” recruiting hostess for the football program, filed a lawsuit in late January of this year in which it’s alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape over a four-year period starting in 2011.  It was further alleged in the lawsuit that BU assistant football coaches, including current Florida Atlantic assistant Kendal Briles, contributed to what was described as a “culture of sexual violence” around the football program.

“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players,” Briles, the son of disgraced former BU head coach Art Briles, told one recruit according to that lawsuit, one of many the university is currently facing as a result of the sexual-assault scandal.

Despite the 2013 allegations of Armstead being involved in a sexual assault, he remained with the football program until his dismissal in September of 2015.  A little over a week ago, Armstead was arrested on multiple charges in Las Vegas after he allegedly physically assaulted a woman.

Louisville clarifies titles for revamped defensive coaching staff

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The offseason shuffling of Bobby Petrino‘s defensive coaching staff appears to be complete.

Thanks to Todd Grantham‘s move to Mississippi State earlier this offseason, Petrino was forced to overhaul his staff on that side of the ball.  Peter Sirmon, who Grantham replaced at MSU, was hired by the U of L as defensive coordinator in mid-January.

As the Cardinals kicked off spring practice this week, the football program detailed the responsibilities for the defensive side of the staff.

New defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon announced on Wednesday that he has finalized position changes on his defensive staff. Sirmon will mentor the defense, but will also coach the outside linebackers. Lorenzo Ward will coach the secondary, while Cort Dennison will now mentor the inside linebackers. L.D. Scott will stick with coaching the defensive line.

Last season under Grantham, the Cardinals were 31st nationally and sixth in the ACC in scoring defense (23.8 points per game).  They were 14th and third, respectively, in total defense (319.6 yards per game).

Auburn wide receiver Kyle Davis potentially out for spring

Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was optimistic about wide receiver Kyle Davis returning to the team at some point this spring, but the tune has changed regarding his future. Malzahn is now saying Davis may be out for the remainder of Auburn’s spring practices due to personal reasons.

“Kyle Davis is still taking care of some personal business,” Malzahn said, according to SEC Country. “I’m not for sure if he’s going to be back before the end of the spring. He will be back for the fall, just taking a little bit longer than we initially thought.”

It was just a few weeks ago Malzahn said Davis was going to be out for the start of spring practices, which are now close to half over. For now, the plan is simply to have him return over the summer in preparation for the fall.

In the meantime, Malzahn confirmed John Franklin III is working primarily as a wide receiver, which had previously been suspected to be the case.

Penn State announces three captains for 2017 season

Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
1 Comment

With Penn State just about to get started with spring football practices, head coach James Franklin wasted no time in naming his captains for the 2017 season. Quarterback Trace McSorley, linebacker Jason Cabinda, and safety Nick Scott have been voted captains by their peers on the team.

“These three young men have been leaders in our program, on and off the field,” Franklin said in a released statement. “They live our four core values and act with the program’s best interest in mind. Our team is in good hands with these guys!”

McSorley took over the offense as Penn State’s starting quarterback in 2016. A bit of a mystery to most entering the season after being the backup to Christian Hackenberg, McSorley ended his 2016 season with a Big Ten-leading 3,614 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes with eight interceptions and played a key role in guiding Penn State to a late run to a Big Ten championship and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. He enters the 2017 season as one of the top quarterbacks returning to the Big Ten, along with Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett.

Cabinda, an All-Big Ten third team player in 2016, was Penn State’s third-leading tackler last season with 81 tackles. He accumulated that many tackles despite missing five games due to injury. He is slated to be the leader in the middle of the Penn State defense with a starting role already locked down and will look to help guide some younger linebackers stepping into key roles in the defense this upcoming season, such as Manny Bowen and Koa Farmer.

Scott has been a special teams leader for Penn State and is expected to continue to lead the special teams effort once again this season.