Update: After announcement no-show, top unsigned recruit picks Irish

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UPDATED 3:44 p.m. ET: After bailing on a scheduled press conference earlier in the day, Davonte Neal returned to the elementary school and announced that he will be signing a Letter of Intent with Notre Dame.

Good luck, Irish.  That is all.

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Reason No. 1,877 why the recruiting game makes one both feel the need to take a shower and embarrassed over the way far too much attention, media and otherwise, is lavished on a bunch of teenagers.

On Tuesday, wide receiver Davonte Neal, the highest-rated unsigned recruit in the Class of 2012, was scheduled to announce whether he would attend home-state Arizona, Notre Dame, Arkansas or North Carolina.  Instead, the player was a no-show for his own signing announcement, leaving hundreds of people young and old twisting in the wind.

Reportedly, there is an ongoing “power struggle” over the decision.  The player apparently wants to stay near home and play for the Wildcats, while the father wants his son to play for the Irish.

There’s no word yet on when an announcement on Neal’s school of choice will be made.  Or whether anyone should really care at this point thanks to what transpired.

Simply put, the entire Neal family should be embarrassed over and ashamed of what took place late Tuesday morning at the receiver’s former elementary school.

Not because of the fact that Neal didn’t announce his decision, mind you.  This is the most important decision of the young player’s life, and he deserves whatever amount of time necessary to officially map out his future.

Rather, the fact that more than 600 kids and their teachers and school administrators — God bless the principal who kept the collection of kids ranging in age from five to 10 years old from throwing their juice boxes and Gummi bears in disgust at the screen showing Neal’s highlights — were pulled out of class and waited over an hour for nothing.  Friends, former teammates and the media took time out of their collective days to lavish attention on an individual who’s done nothing beyond the high school level, again for nothing.

Untold individuals went out of their way for Neal and his family, preparing the school and disrupting classrooms so that Neal could have his moment in the spotlight.  All so they could get stood up because a family couldn’t get on the same page even as they called a week ago for this celebration of a signing?

Here’s a hint to future recruits and their families: if you’re going to call a press conference, at least have the common decency and courtesy to ensure that everyone in the family is onboard with the decision before, ya know, wasting everyone’s time and embarrassing yourselves.

Or, as Scout.com’s Brandon Huffman said…

“This is just an absolute terrible indictment of the whole recruiting process. It ruined what should have been an exciting day for Davonte — and for the kids, too. That it happened in front of grade-school kids, it’s indescribable.”

A-freaking-men.

A&M, UCLA both add New Mexico to future schedules

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Texas A&M and UCLA announced Wednesday that their 2017 opener had been moved from Saturday to Sunday.  As it turns out, that wasn’t the only scheduling news connecting the two football programs.

As part of a release announcing seven games being added to its future schedules, New Mexico confirmed that two of those contests will include A&M and UCLA.  Both of those games, obviously, will be on the road, with the Lobos traveling to College Station Sept. 18, 2021, and to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl Sept. 13, 2025.

In its release, the school wrote that “[t]he game in College Station has a guarantee of $1,100,000 and 450 complementary tickets,” while “[t]he game in Pasadena has a guarantee of $1,200,000 plus 2,000 complementary tickets that UNM can sell for extra revenue.”

The last and only time New Mexico and UCLA squared off was in the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl, a 27-13 win for the Bruins.  UNM and A&M actually completed a home-and-home series relatively recently, with the Aggies winning both games played in the 2008 (28-22) and 2009 (41-6) seasons.

In addition to the future Power Five games, a continuation of the long-running rivalry with UTEP will be extended.  UNM will play in El Paso in 2021, then host UTEP in 2022.  Those two games will mark the 79th and 80th contests in the regional rivalry.

Michigan State, Washington round out future schedules with Utah State

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Needing to fill a single spot in some future schedules, both Michigan State and Washington have come calling to the Mountain West for an opponent. Utah State was happy to oblige.

Michigan State will host Utah State on September 1, 2018. The Aggies will travel to Washington on September 19, 2020. For their travels, Utah State will collect $2.9 million between the two games, according to FBScheduels.com ($1.4 million from Michigan State, $1.5 million from Washington).

The Big Ten and Pac-12 each use nine-game conference schedules, leaving three spots open for non-conference games. The Big Ten requires all conference members schedule one game per season against another power conference opponent (the Pac-12 has no such requirement of its members at this time), although exceptions are made. Utah State, as a member of the Mountain West Conference, would not satisfy that requirement for the Big Ten, but the Spartans already have a road game against Arizona State (Pac-12) on the schedule in 2018. Michigan State and Arizona State will play again in 2019 in East Lansing. Michigan State also has future power conference matchups with Notre Dame (2017, 2026, 2027) and Miami (2020, 2021). Michigan State will also play BYU in 2020 in Provo.

Washington has future power conference matchups with Rutgers (2017), Auburn (2018, in Atlanta), and Michigan (2020, 2021). The Huskies will also face Mountain West Competition from Fresno State (2017), Hawaii (2019), and Nevada (2027).

Utah State will face power conference opponents on the road in 2017 (Wisconsin, Wake Forest), 2018 (Michigan State), 2019 (Wake Forest, LSU), 2020 (Washington), and 2021 (Washington State). Utah State will also host Washington State in 2020 as part of a home-and-home deal. Utah State also has an annual series against BYU running through 2020.

Old Dominion hopes to “hit the ground running” on new stadium project

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Some fans of the Old Dominion football program may be getting a little impatient with the progress (or lack of) in the development of the football stadium, but Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig says things are coming along nicely and progress will start to be seen soon enough.

“Once we get the architects engaged, we’ll figure out what $55 million will buy in 2019 dollars,” Selig said, according to The Virginian-Pilot. “Then we’ll have an idea for how much additional money needs to be raised to support the project.”

Old Dominion is planning on tearing down Foreman Field at the end of the 2018 season and rebuild it with modern seating and amenities. The $55 million project remained on the books in the Virginia budget in February, allowing the university to move ahead with their plans. The first step is finding an architect to take on the job.

Because Old Dominion’s football stadium is among the smallest in the nation and will remain so even after the rebuild and renovations, the entire project is expected to move fairly swiftly once the work actually begins. Old Dominion isn’t building a grand football palace, so any concerns over the lack of updates on the stadium should be calmed.

If nothing else, the concerns raised about the lack of updates on the stadium renovations may just mean Old Dominion has some eager fans excited about the future of the program.

Baylor interim president to Texas senators: “We were not trying to cover up what happened at Baylor”

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Texas senators are taking aim at Baylor University and are hoping to persuade the university to be more open and transparent despite being a private university.

Baylor interim president David Garland faced criticism from senators during a hearing with the Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday regarding the coverup of rape accusations found throughout the football program in recent years.

“We were not trying to cover up what happened at Baylor,” Garland said to the committee. Unfortunately for Garland, that was far from enough to sway the senators on the committee from playing nice with him and Baylor University.

I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that for a minute,” Senator Kel Seliger replied, according to The Texas Tribune. “I don’t buy that for a minute. I think that is exactly what was going on.”

The exchange between the interim president at Baylor and the senator came during a hearing regarding a state bill that requires any school receiving more than $5 million in Tuition Equalization Grants from the state to comply with open records and open meetings laws in the state of Texas. Baylor, being a private university, believes it should not have to comply with the bill, which would open up the doors to more information regarding Baylor’s handling of vile accusations within its university and athletics department.

The exchange comes a day after Baylor moved to dismiss a lawsuit claiming 52 rapes over a three-year period occurred at the university.

If you thought the ugliness around the Baylor situation was going to be limited to athletics, you thought wrong. This is clearly a state-wide concern and battle now. And things are always bigger in Texas, right?