Clemson’s Sammy Watkins arrested on weed charges

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UPDATED 12:24 p.m. ET: In a press release, Clemson confirmed that Sammy Watkins and a member of the men’s soccer team were charged with simple possession of marijuana early Friday morning.  Additionally, Watkins was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  The latter charge relates to police finding two schedule-2 non-narcotics pills on Watkins’ person for which he did not have a prescription.

Both of the charges are misdemeanors, and Watkins has already been released from the Clemson City Jail on a $1,620 personal recognizance bond.

The release also detailed what led to the Watkins’ arrest:

The men were arrested when police stopped the car Watkins was driving after an officer saw it scrape against a curb on campus and because the temporary license was not illuminated.  When the officer pulled the car over in a parking lot off Common Court, he smelled marijuana.  During a search he found marijuana and two pills for which Watkins did not have a prescription.

Watkins and head coach Dabo Swinney both released statements through the school on the receiver’s legal situation.

“I am aware of the arrest last night,” the coach’s statement read. “I am mad and hurt by the poor decision that Sammy Watkins made. He is a good young man who has been a model student, citizen, player and teammate.

“This is a reminder that good people make poor decisions. But, there are consequences for your actions…and there will be in this case.

“I am in the process of gathering the facts and discipline will be determined when I have completed that process.”

“I made a mistake last night and I am truly sorry for my actions,” Watkins said in his statement. “I let the team down, the coaches down and this University down. I will learn from this. I will accept any discipline Coach Swinney and the University issues.”

_________________________

Whoops.

While the details are very scant at this point in time, WSPA-TV is reporting that Clemson star wide receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested by university police early Friday morning and booked into the City of Clemson’s holding facility.

One of the details currently missing?  Exactly what charge or charges Watkins will be facing.

The school has yet to address the situation surrounding Watkins.

As a true freshman last season, Watkins was one of the most electrifying players at the wide receiver position, as well as one of the country’s most exciting return men.  He led the Tigers with 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.  All told, he racked up 2,288 total yards and 13 touchdowns.

Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor launches campaign for… Heisman Trophy

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Move over Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph, because it appears there is another college football player from the state of Oklahoma who has his eyes set on winning the Heisman Trophy.

Oklahoma State punter — yes, punter — Zach Sinor has officially launched his Heisman Trophy campaign with a fun video promotion from the Oklahoma State football social media team. In it, you get a real sense of what is motivating the Cowboys punter, who was left off the Ray Guy Award list a year ago.

I shouldn’t have to remind you that a punter has never won the Heisman Trophy award, but that does not mean we can’t have some fun and laughs along the way as Sinor looks to state his case this season.

Vanderbilt suspends three players connected to parking lot shooting incident

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Days after two Vanderbilt football players were shot in an incident involving a stolen phone, head coach Derek Mason has suspended three players connected to the incident. Defensive backs Tae Daley and Frank Coppet and wide receiver Donaven Tennyson have all been indefinitely suspended from all football activities in Nashville.

Daley and Coppet were shot outside a Nashville Target on Monday night. Neither player suffered what is considered a critical injury, which is good to hear, but the entire incident centering around a meeting in which Tennyson was attempting to recover a cellphone that had been stolen from him. Tennyson brought his teammates with him in what has been described by authorities as “an ill-conceived plan.”

Mason clearly agreed.

No arrests have been made, but police are continuing to work the case to identify the shooters.

NCAA considering changing transfer rules

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The NCAA’s Division I Council Transfer Working Group on Wednesday unleashed a set of suggestions that could either radically change or slightly tweak the way transfers are handled in college sports’ highest level.

Let’s start with the (possible) radical changes. The working group is considering a suggestion that would make all transfers immediately eligible, provided they hit certain academic benchmarks:

Establishing uniform transfer rules — which would require everyone to follow the same rules regardless of the sport they play — was a topic that the group agrees will likely take longer to resolve. While most members agreed the concept of uniformity would be positive, what the specific rules would be is less clear.

Members discussed two models: One model would require every transfer student to sit out a year to acclimate to a new school; the other would allow all transfers to play immediately provided they present academic credentials that predict graduation at the new institution.

Walking back from that, the working group did recommend changing the transfer process to where players seeking new destinations would no longer need their former school’s approval. Considering the NCAA formally argues its athletes are merely students, and there is no limit on normal students receiving financial aid upon transferring to a new institution, this change should pass without a word to the contrary. But, you know, the NCAA is the NCAA.

Group members believe financial aid should not be tied to whether a school grants permission to contact. They want to know if others in the membership feel the same way. The group also agreed that enhancements should be made to the formal process students use to notify a school of their desire to transfer. The group will seek input from the membership on appropriate enhancements.

To curb a possible spike in transfers, the working group suggested upping penalties for coaches caught tampering with scholarship athletes at other schools.

The group expressed interest in increasing the consequences for coaches who break recruiting rules to seek out undergraduate and potential graduate students. The working group will ask the Committee on Infractions and enforcement staff to review the concept and provide feedback.

Finally, the working group suggested adding academic accountability to the graduate transfer market by either making graduate transfers count against the 85-man scholarship limit for two years or tweaking the APR formula to up the impact graduate transfers’ academic progress has in the system.

One potential approach could be to require that the financial aid provided to graduate students count against a team’s scholarship limit for two years, regardless of whether the graduate student stays for two years or leaves when their eligibility is complete.

Another concept for increasing that accountability is through the Academic Progress Rate calculation, specifically the eligibility and retention points for which a student would be held accountable as they pursue a graduate degree. The Committee on Academics discussed the calculation and the working group plans to continue conversations on the topic.

“I am thrilled with the great progress made this week, and I’m confident we can move forward with some initial concepts for consideration in this year’s legislative cycle,” South Dakota State AD and working group chair Justin Sell said in a statement. “We are working toward academics-based, data-driven decisions that benefit student-athletes, teams and schools.”

Any changes proposed by the working group are merely suggestions. The earliest any proposals could be voted on would be April 2018.

Michigan WR Grant Perry pleads guilty to felony resisting of a police officer

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Michigan wide receiver Grant Perry on Wednesday pleaded guilty to resisting of a police officer in a Lansing, Mich., court, according to the Lansing State Journal. The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

Perry also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of assault and battery, but did so to avoid two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and one alcohol charge.

The case stemmed from an October incident in which Perry was accused of groping a female outside an East Lansing bar. (The Wolverines were off that weekend.) A Michigan State student said Perry “started licking his lips and smiling and pushing his chest up against her chest” before groping her.

Police were called to the scene, and Perry attempted to escape.

“When (police) arrived on scene, we tried to grab onto him, and we had to chase him,” East Lansing P.D. spokesman Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said at the time. “In the midst of that fracas, one of our officers suffered a minor hand injury.”

Prosecutor Christina Johnson said Wednesday she has not ruled out sentencing Perry under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which, pending Perry’s completion of certain requirements, would wipe Wednesday’s conviction from his record by his 24th birthday.

In the meantime, Perry has been suspended by Michigan but has since resumed practicing with the team. Jim Harbaugh has said Perry will not play for the Wolverines until his case is resolved, which it will be by the time Michigan opens the season against Florida on Sept. 2. Sentencing for the case is set for Aug. 2.