After losing Trent Richardson to early entry into the NFL draft, Alabama will be without his projected replacement this spring as well.
Head coach Nick Saban announced Tuesday that running back Eddie Lacy will miss all 15 of the spring sessions after undergoing surgery this offseason. Lacy had dealt with a foot issue throughout the latter portion of the 2011 season.
As the primary backup to Richardson last season, Lacy finished second on the team in rushing yards (674) and touchdowns (seven). he added 11 receptions for 131 yards out of the backfield.
Lacy won’t be the only Tide player to miss spring practice due to a health issue, either, as offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio will be held out as well due to offseason surgery. As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Kouandjio played in two games.
Additionally, three other players will not participate this spring due to suspensions, and all three also happen to be wide receivers — Michael Bowman, Ronald Carswell and Duron Carter. The development is the latest low point for Carter, who left Ohio State in June of 2010 and ultimately landed at Alabama in April of last year but did not see the field at all due to myriad issues.
“It is what it is. They’re suspended today. That’s all I know. If it changes, I’ll tell you,” head coach Nick Saban said of the suspended players and when they may return. “Why do we have to make decisions about things we don’t know the answers to? Why would you ask me to?”
Baylor’s on-going scandal over reported sexual assaults looks like it is about to get even uglier.
Former head coach Art Briles has filed a lawsuit for libel and slander against three school regents and a vice president, according to the Associated Press, accusing them of falsely stating he knew of sexual assaults by players and didn’t report them.
Perhaps most eyebrow-raising is that the lawsuit also accuses the officials of conspiring to keep him from getting another coaching job. Briles has been connected to openings such as the one at Houston but school officials quickly denied reports that he was formally considered for the vacant head coaching spot.
Briles was fired in the spring by Baylor after an investigation from law firm Pepper Hamilton determined the school mishandled reports of alleged sexual assaults, some of which involved numerous football players. The coach denied he knew about the alleged assaults but several regents — including the three named in the recent lawsuit — told the Wall Street Journal on the record that Briles failed to report alleged assaults.
While the football team may be looking to move on from all of this with the recent hire of Matt Rhule as the new head coach, it appears the school itself will continue to deal with the fallout from one of the worst scandals in college football history.
College football recruiting has kicked into full gear the past few weeks and one of the more interesting decisions this month that could have a big impact on next season is finding out which school former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be playing for in 2017.
The signal-caller threw for 12 touchdowns and over 1,200 yards after taking over as the Bears starter midway through last year but he opted to transfer away from the program this summer when Art Briles was fired as the result of a sexual assault scandal at the school. While many have considered SEC schools such as Auburn, Texas A&M and Florida to be the favorites to land the coveted junior college QB, there may be another school that is in the running too: whichever program hires Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.
“KB is my dude,” Stidham told ESPN.com. “I’m super tight with him. I still talk to him all the time. I’m still waiting to see what happens with him and where he might go and just take it into consideration.”
It remains to be seen if new head coach Matt Rhule will retain the younger Briles but it seems unlikely given the events in Waco the past six months and the school likely wanting a complete divorce from the previous regime. Kendal Briles own job prospects seem a bit unknown given everything at play but it could be an interesting combination for a head coach looking to jump start an offense.
There’s always talk of package deals in college basketball but this would be a potential one in football that may draw some interest.
And that’s the way it was, at least as it pertains to the Florida portion of Jordan Cronkrite‘s collegiate playing career.
Thursday, the Gators announced that Cronkrite has been granted permission to pursue other opportunities. The release from his scholarship will afford the running back the opportunity to transfer elsewhere.
If that elsewhere is at the FBS, the sophomore would have to sit out the 2017 season. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
Cronkrite was a four-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 34 player at any position in the state of Florida.
As a true freshman, Cronkrite ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries. This past season, he carried the ball 31 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. His 20 receptions were fourth on the Gators.