Colorado State trio expelled from school

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Last week, three Colorado State players were charged with one count each of disorderly conduct in what was described as the “savage beating” of a couple of fellow students, leading some to believe that the trio had a future with the football program.

Not only is that not the case, but the players won’t have a future at the university, either.

CSU announced via a press release Friday evening that  former football student-athletes junior defensive end Nordly Capi (pictured), junior linebacker Mike Orakpo and junior defensive end Colton Paulhus have been expelled from the school.  The expulsions come nearly a month to the day after the three were involved in a verbal altercation with three CSU students that became frighteningly physical and violent.

“Virtually every student-athlete and coach is horrified, angry and embarrassed by the actions of these few,” athletic director Jack Graham said in a statement. “With me, our student-athletes and coaches have accepted responsibility for these actions and for doing all we can to root out this behavior to the extent it may still exist.

“As AD, I want to make it absolutely clear that we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior by our student-athletes.”

CSU’s Office of Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services made the decision to expel those students, the Fort Collins Coloradoan wrote.  All three have the right to appeal the decision, and the appeal must be filed no later than May 15.  It’s unclear if any combination of the three will exercise that option.

Per the alleged victims, the incident, which occurred April 6, began when the players lobbed a homophobic slur from their vehicle, after which freshman Donny Gocha responded in kind.  At that point, it’s alleged, the players exited the vehicle and commenced to beating on Gocha.  Two of Gocha’s friends attempted to intervene, but were beaten as well.  Neither of those two individuals were charged.

One of those friends, John “J.D.” Haley, told the paper shortly after the early-April incident that “[i]t wasn’t really much of a fight. It was basically just a beating.  I’ve never seen anyone so mad, so violent. The kid was on a rampage.” Haley did not reveal which football-playing “kid” to which he was referring.

The Coloradoan described the incident as a “savage beating“, which left the alleged victims with various injuries, from chipped teeth to eyes nearly swollen shut to cuts and bruises to one having a boot print left on his back from where he was allegedly assaulted by one of the football players.

The three players, along with Gocha, were subsequently charged with disorderly conduct three weeks later.  All three were immediately suspended indefinitely by head coach Jim McElwain.

The on-field loss of Capi will be a particularly significant blow for the first-year coach.  Capi’s 10 sacks led the Mountain West Conference in 2011, while his 11.5 tackles for loss led the Rams.  Orakpo’s loss will be felt defensively as well as he finished third on the team in tackles with 87.

Paulhus played in 11 games last season and was credited with seven tackles and half a tackle for loss.

Bowling Green lands Cincinnati grad transfer John Kurtz

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Just ahead of the start of summer camp, Bowling Green has further solidified its depth and experience along its offensive line.

Appearing at the MAC football preview Wednesday, Mike Jinks confirmed that John Kurtz has been added to his Bowling Green football roster.  Kurtz comes to the Falcons as a graduate transfer, which would technically give him immediate eligibility.

“He played spring football for Cincinnati and was in the rotation for playing time on the offensive line,” Jinks said according to the Toledo Blade. “He’s a kid who has a chance to have an impact right away.

“The opportunity is there for him to play right away for us. This is a big ‘get’ for us.”

Jinks also hinted that Kurtz, who has two years of eligibility remaining, could be a redshirt candidate for the 2017 season as well.

Despite being just a two-star 2014 recruit, he was rated as the No. 12 player at any position in the state of Kentucky.  During his time with the Bearcats, Kurtz played sparingly.

After stops at TCU, Arkansas State, Cameron Echols-Luper to give WKU a try

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Maybe the third time will be a charm for Cameron Echols-Luper?

On his personal Instagram account Wednesday, Echols-Luper revealed that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Western Kentucky.  According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the decision was made following a visit to the school earlier this week.

As a graduate transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Hilltoppers. However, he has to finish up some schoolwork at his former school, Arkansas State, before officially moving on to WKU.

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Echols-Luper began his collegiate career at TCU in 2013, transferring to ASU in 2015. After sitting out that season, he was third on the Red Wolves in receptions (26) and receiving yards (407). His 15.7 yards per reception was second on the team.

Ex-USC DL Noah Jefferson won’t be transferring to Arizona after all

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In early March, Noah Jefferson announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from USC to Arizona.  Nearly five months later?

Never mind.

Wednesday, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that Jefferson will not, as previously expected, be playing for the Wildcats this season.  No reason for the abrupt and unexpected about-face was given.

The coach did, though, intimate that a future pairing between the player and the program isn’t out of the question.

Jefferson wouldn’t have been eligible to play in 2017 for the Wildcats even if his move to the desert had come to fruition. He would’ve, though, had two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018 at his disposal.

A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson played in 14 games, starting one of those, as a true freshman. After starting the season-opening loss to Alabama last season, Jefferson never played another down for USC.

Hugh Freeze makes first public comments since exiting Ole Miss in disgrace

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For the first time since his unceremonious exit from Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze has spoken publicly.  Somewhat.

In what was described as a brief interview with USA Today Sports Wednesday, the former Ole Miss head coach said his family and church have helped him get through the storm of the last few days. When asked if his family was standing by him, Freeze responded, “Oh, gosh, yeah.”

“God is good, even in difficult times,’’ Freeze told the website. “Wonderful wife and family, and that’s my priority.”

“I got some good friends,” the former head coach added.

The stunning news dropped last Thursday night that Freeze’s tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss had come to an end because of at least one call from his university-issued cell phone to a known escort service.  While Freeze blamed the call on a misdial, the administration found a “pattern of misconduct” during a deep dive into his phone records, leading the school to confront the coach about the situation.

After meetings with Freeze Wednesday night and then again Thursday morning, it became apparent that, if he didn’t resign, the school was going to fire him.

Because of a moral turpitude clause in his contract, there was neither a buyout nor a settlement.